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AUTHORSEOmON ^v 

HRKTWWNs 

SKETCHÈS 



NOVELS AT TWO SHILLINGS. 



Night and Moniing. 
Ernest Maltravers. 
Lasl of the Barons. 
The Caxtons. 

Pelham. 

Laat Days of Potnpeîi. 



Bv Lord Lytton. 
The Disowned. 
Leiln, ond Pilgrii 
the Rhine. i 
Panl ClUîord. 



Alice 



My Novel. 2 vols. 

Harold. ' 

Zanoni. 

A Strangc Story. 

WhatwillheDowith 



Devereux. 
En gène Atam. 
Codolphïn. 

By Albert Smith. 

TheAdvenluresofMr. Ledbury. 1 Chris lopher Tadpole. 
The Scaltcrgood Family. The Pottleton Legncy. 

TheMarchionessofBlinvillicrs. | 

By Miss Wethekell. 

The Old Helmet. I The Two ScIifioJ-GIrls. 

Melbourne House. The Wide, Wide World. 

EUen MontgomCTy's Boakshclf. I Queechy. 

By Alexandre Dumas. 
The Half-Brothers. | Maipierite de Valois. 

By James Grant. 
The Romance of War ; or, The Arthnr Blane. 

■ringh; 



Highlanders in Spaii 
The Aide-de-Camp. 
The Scottish Cavalier. 
Bolhwell. 



Jane Selor 



, The Que 



Advocate. 
Philip Kollo. 

Legends of the Black Watch. 
Mary of Lorraine. 
Oliver EUis; or, The Fusilier 
Lncy Aiden; or, Hollywood 

HrII. 
Frank Hilton ; or, The Qi 

Own. 



The 



Highlandere of Glenora. 
The Captain of Ihe Guard. 
Lclty Hyde's Loyers. 
Cavaliers of Fortune. 
Second to None; or, The ScoB 

The Constable of France. 
The Phantom Régiment. 
The King's Own Uorderers. 
The White Cockade. 
Dick Rodcey. 
First Love and Last Love. 
The Girl he Married. 



Harry &j*^a»^feHSJgagjj« an i 



Novels at Two Shillings.— CV?;///««^ï/. 

By Author of " Whitefriars." 
WhitehaU. | Owen Tudor. | Caesar Boigia. | Whitefriars. 

By Fielding and Smollett. 



FlELDING. 

Tom Jones. 
Joseph Andrews. 
Amelia. 



Smollett. 
Roderick Random. 
Humphrey Clinker, 
Peregrine Pickle. 



By W. h. Maxwell. 



Xiuck is Eveî7thing. 
Stories of Waterloo. 
Captain Blake. 
The Bivouac. 
Flood and Field. 



Wild Sports in the 

West. 
Hector 0*Halloran. 
Stories of the Penin- 

sular War. 



Captain O'Sullivan. 
Wild Sports and Ad- 

ventures in the 

Highlands. 



By Théodore Hook. 



Gilbert Gumey. 
The Parson's Daugh- 

ter. 
Àll in the Wrong. 
Fathers and Sons. 
Gervase Skinner. 



Aglncourt. 

Arabella Stuart. 

Arrah NeiL 

Attila. 

Beauchamp. 

The Black Eagle. 

The Brigand, 

Castelneau. 

The Castle of Ehren- 

stein. 
Charles Tyrrell. 
The Convict. 
Damley. 
Delaware. 
De UOrme. 
The False Heir. 



Cousin William. 1 Jack Brag. 

ManofManyFrîends. , Maxwell. 
Passion and Principle. | Cousin Geoffry. 
The Widow and the! Merton. 



Marquess. 
Gumey Married. 

By g. p. R. James. 

Forest Days ; or, 

Robin Hood. 
The Forgery, 
The Gentleman of the 

Old School. 
The Gipsy. 
Gowrie ; or, The 

King's Plot. 
Heidelberg. 
Henry Masterton. 
Henry of Guise. 
The Jacquerie. 
John Marston Hall. 
The King's Highway. 
Lieonora D'Orco. 
Morley Emstein. 
My Aimt Pontypool. 



Peregrine Bunce. 



The Man-at-Arms. 

Mary of Burgundy. 

The Old Dominion. 

One in a Thousand. 

Philip Augustus. 

Richelieu. 

The Robber. 

Rose D'Albret 

Russell. 

Sir Théodore Brough- 
ton. 

The Smuggler. 

The Stepmother. 

A Whim and Its Con- 
séquences. 

The Woodman, 



\ 



PuâUs/ted by George Routledge and Sons, 



Novels at Two Shillings.— CV»//;/^^^/. 
By Various Authors. 



The Night Side of Nature. 

Mrs, Crowe. 
Scottish Giiefs. Jane Porter, 
Rory O'More. Samuel Lover, 
Who is to Hâve it ? 
Feathered Arrow. Gerstaëcker. 
Each for. HimselC Gerstaëcker, 
Sir Roland Ashton. Lady C, Long, 
The Young Curate. 
Matrimonial Shipwrecks. 

Mrs, Maillard, 
The Two Baronets. 

Lady Charlotte Bury. 
Country Curate. G, R, Gleig, 
Handy Andy. Lover, 

Lamplighter. Miss Cummins, 
Gideon Giles. T, MUler, 

Ben Brace. Captain Chamier, 
The Hussar. Gleig, 

Guy Livingstone. 
Running the Gauntlet. 

Edmund Yates, 
Kissing the Rod. Edmund Yates, 
Sir Victor's Choice. 

Annie Thomas, 
The Two Midshipmen. 

Captain Armstrong, 
Outward Bound. Author of 

" Rattlin t/ie Ree/er," 
The Secret of a Life. M, M. Bell. 



Emily Chester. 
Phineas Quiddy. 
Lewell Pastures. 
Gilderoy. 
Black and Gold. 

Capt, Patten Saunders, 
Vidocq, the French Police Spy. 
The FÎying Dutchman. 
Clarissa Harlowe. Richardson, 
Clives of Burcot. Hesba Stretton, 
Dr. Goethe's Courtship. 
Half a Million of Money. 

A. B. Edwards, 
The Wandering Tew. 
The Mysteries of Paris. 
Ladder of Gold. 
The Greatest Plague of Life. 
Nick of Ihe Wocâs. 
Whom to Marry. 
A Cruise on Wheels. 
Con Cregan. Lever, 

Arthur O'Leary. Levers 

The Pirate of the Mediterranean. 

Kingston, 
False Colours. Annie Thomas. 
Will He Marry Her. JohnLang. 
The Ex- Wife. 7ohn Lang. 

The First Lieutenant^ Stoiy. 

iMdy C. Long» 



RAILWAY LIBRARY. 

Priceis, 6d, each. 



The Clockmaker. 



I The Vicomte de Bragelonne, a 
Sàm Slick, I vols. Dumas, 



NEW SHILLING VOLUMES. 



Routledge's Readings (Comic). 
Routledge's Readings (Serious). 
Routledge's Readings (Dramatic). 
The Book of Moidem Scotch 
Anecdotes. 



The Book of Modem Irish Anec- 
dotes. 

The Book of Modem Englist 
Anecdotes. 



I 



Published by George Routledge and Sotis, 



Mark Twain's 
Sketches. 



Stlttlib mût gtiiisib bij % Salti"- 




LONDON : 

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS. 

1871. 



LONDON. 
BRADBURY, EVANS, AND CO., PRISTERS, WHITKFRIARS. 



AUTHOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. 

Messrs. George Routledge and Sons are the only 
English publishers who pay me any cop)night on my 
books. That is something ; but a courtesy which I prize 
even more, is the opportunity which they hâve given me 
to edit and revise the matter for publication myself. 
This enables me to leave out a good deal of literature 
which has appeared in England over my name, but 
which I never wrote. And, as far as this particular 
volume is concemed, it also enables me to add a number 
of sketches which I did write, but which hâve not hereto- 
fore been published abroad. This book contains ail of 
my sketches which I feel at ail wiUing to father. 

Mark Twain. 
Hartford, 1872. 



PREFATORY. 



If I were to sell the reader a barrel of molasses, and 

he, instead of sweetening his substantial dinner with the 

sarae at judicious intervais, should eat the entire barrel 

at one sitting, and then abuse me for making him sick, I 

would say that he deserved to be made sick for not 

knowing any better how to utilize the blessings thîs 

world affords. And if I sell to the reader this volume of 

nonsense, and he, instead of seasoning his graver reading 

with a chapter of it now and then, when his mind de" 

mands such relaxation, unwisely overdoses himself with 

several chapters of it at a single sitting, he will well 

deserve to be nauseated, and he will hâve nobody to 

blâme but himself if he is, There is no more sin in 

publishing an entire volume of nonsense than there is in 

keeping a candy store with no hardware in it. It lies 

wholly with the customer whether he will injure himself 

by means of either, or will dérive from them the benefits 

which they will afford him if he uses their possibilities 

judiciously. 

RespectfuUy submitted, 

The Author. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

MEMORANDA ^ II 

THE JUMPING FROG I3 

HOW I EDITED AN AGRICULTURAL PAPER .... 22 

A NEW BEECHER CHURCH 30 

THE BAD LITTLE BOY . - . . . . * . . • 4I 

THE GOOD LITTLE BOY ^ 45 

DANGER OF LYING IN BED .' $2 

ABOUT BARBERS 57 

HUMAN NATURE . " 63 

JOHNNY GREERAS WAY 64 

BREAKINGIT GENTLY. ....... 65 

THE JUDGE'S "SPIRITED WOMAN" 67 

my late senatorial secretaryship .... 69 

facts in the case of george fisher, deceased . . 76 

the great beef contract ^ 86 

the poor editor .' 96 

**after" jenkins 99 

answer to inquiry from comtng man . . . . i02 
concerning chambermaids - . . . • . .103 

burlesque autobiography (of mark twain) ^ . . i06 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

THE UNDERTAKER'S CHAT . . . . . . II4 

THE PETRIFIED MAN - II8 

MARVELLOUS **BLOODY MASSACRE" . ' . . . . 122 

JOURNALISM IN TENNESSEE - I27 

THE NEW CRIME I36 

LIONIZING MURDERERS I42 

MENTAL PHOTOGRAPHS ** . I49 

A DECEPTION I5I 

CALIFORNIAN ALMANAC -153 

MY WATCH— AN INSTRUCTIVE PAGE FROM A LITTLE TALE^ I56 

AN ENTERTAÏNING ARTICLE I6I 

MAP OF PARIS - 169 

A GENERAL REPLY I73 

THE LATE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN I79 

FASHION ITEM .* 184 

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS 186 

LUCRETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER I96 

SCRIPTURAL PANORAMIST ....... 204 

AN UNBURLESQUABLE THING 2o8 

RILEY— NEWS PAPER CORRESPONDENT 211 

THE FACTS CONCERNING THE RECENT RESIGNATION. . 217 

A DARING ATTEMPT AT A SOLUTION OF IT . . . . 227 

A MEMORY 229 

SCIENCE V. LUCK 235 

AURELIA's UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN r . . . . 239 

MEDIiEVAL ROMANCE '' . . \ 243 

MISPLACED CONFIDENCE 254 

THE WIDOW'S PROTEST .'' . 255 

POLITICAL ECONOMY 257 

THE KILLING OF JULIUS C/ESAR LOCALIZED .^ . . . 264 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 
AN ITEM WHICH THE EDITOR HIMSELF COULD NOT 

UNDERSTAND . . 272 

BACK FROM "YURRUP'U ...;... 277 

MORE DISTINCTION . . . 281 

A LEGEND OF THE CAPITOLINE VENUS . - . . . . 285 

ENIGMA 293 

WIT — INSPIRATIONS OF THE TWO YEAR OLDS ... 294 

PERSONAL HABITS OF THE SIAMESE TWINS^ . . . 299 

A CURIOUS DREAM . -^ . . . . . , . . 305 

INQUIRY ABOUT INSURANCES 318 

ADVICE FOR GOOD LITTLE GIRLS .^ 321 

CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS 323 

CÙRING A COLD "*. 336 

REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER's FARM .... 342 

RÙNNING FOR GOVERNOR 345 

LITERATURE IN THE DRY DIGGINGS r . . . , 352 

A MYSTERIOUS VISIT 354 



MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES 



» IWI ' 



MEMORANDA* 

Thèse Memoranda are not a "humorous" depart- 
ment. I would not conduct an exclusively and pro- 
fessedly humorous department for any one. I would 
always prefer to hâve the privilège of printing a serious 
and sensible remark, in case one occurred to me, without 
the reader's feeling obliged to consider himself outraged. 
We cannot keep the same mood day after day. I am 
liable, some day, to want to print my opinion on juris- 
prudence, or Homeric poetry, or international law, and 
I shall do it. It will be of small conséquence to me 
whether the reader survive or not. I shall never go 
straining after jokes when in a cheerless mood, so long 
as the unhackneyed subject of international law is open 
to me. I will leave ail that straining to people who edit 
professedly and inexorably " humorous " departments and 
publications. 

I hâve chosen the gênerai title of Memoranda for this 

* Préface to the department called " Memoranda" in the Galaxy 
Magazine» 



12 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCH ES, 

department, because it is plain and simple, and makes 
no fraudulent promises. I can print under it statistics, 
hôtel arrivais, or anything that comes handy, without 
violating faith with the reader. 

Puns cannot be allowed a place in.this department. 
InofFensive ignorance, benignant stupidity, and unosten- 
tatious imbecility will always be welcomed and cheerfuUy 
accorded a corner, and even the feeblest humour will be 
admitted when we can do no better ; but no circum- 
stances, however dismal, will ever be considered a suffi 
cient excuse for the admission of that last and saddest 
évidence of intellectual poverty, the Pun. 



THE CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG OF 
CAL AVERAS* COUNTY. 

In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, 
who wrote me from the East, I called on good-natured, gar- 
nilous old Simon Wheeler, and inquired after my friend's 
friend, Leonidas W, Smiley, as requested to do, and I here- 
unto append the resuit. I hâve a lurking suspicion that 
Leonidas W. Smiley is a myth ; that my friend never 
knew such à personage ; and that he only conjectured 
that, if I asked old Wheeler about him, it would remind 
him of his infamousy//^ Smiley, and he would go to work 
and bore me to death with some exasperating réminis- 
cence of him as long and tedious as it should be useless 
to me. If that was the design, it succeeded. 

I found Simon Wheeler dozing comfortably by the 
bar-room stove of the dilapidated tavern in the decayed 
mining camp of Angeles, and I noticed that he was fat 
and bald-headed, and had an expression of winning 
gentleness and simplicity upon his tranquil coun- 
tenance. He roused up, and gave me good-day. 
I told him a friend of mine had commissioned me to 
make some inquiries about a cherished companion of his 
boyhood named Leonidas W. Smiley — Rev. Leonidas W. 
Smiley, a young minister of the Gospel, who he had heard 

* Pronounced Cal-e-z/«-ras% 



14 MARK TWAIirs SKETCHES. 

was at one time a résident of AngeFs Camp. I added 
that, if Mr. Wheeler could tell me anything about this 
Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley, I would feel under many obli- 
gations to him. 

Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and blockaded 
me there with his chair, and then sat down and reeled off 
the monotonous narrative which foUows this paragraph. 
He never smiled, he never frowned, he never changed 
his voice from the gentle-flowing key to which he tuned 
the initial sentence, he never betrayed the slightest sus- 
picion of enthusiasm ; but ail through the interminable 
narrative there ran a vein of impressive eamestness and 
sincerity, which showed me plainly that, so far from his 
imagining that there was anything ridiculous or funny 
about his story, he regarded it as a really important 
matter, and admired its two heroes as men of transcen- 
dent genius in finesse, I let him go on in his own way, 
and never interrupted him once. 

There was a feller hère once by the name oî Jim 
Smiley, in the winter of '49 — or may be it was the spring 
of *5o — I don't recoUect exactly, somehow, though what 
makes me think it was one or the other is because I re- 
member the big flume wam't finished when he first come 
to the camp ; but any way, he was the curiosest man 
about always betting on anything that tumed up you ever 
see, if he could get anybody to bet on the other side ; 
and if he couldn't he'd change sides. Anyway what 
suited the other man would suit him — anyway just so's he 
got a bet, he was satisfied. But still he was lucky, un- 
common lucky ; he most always come out winner. He 



THE JUMPING FROG. 15 

was always ready and laying for a chance ; there couldn't 
be no solit*ry thing mentioned but that fellefd ofFer to 
bet on it, and take ary side you please, as I was just tell- 
ing you. If there was a horse-race, you'd find him flush 
or you'd find him busted at the end of it ; if there was a 
dog-fight, he'd bet on it ; if there was a cat-fight, he'd bet 
on it ; if there was a chicken-fight, he'd bet on it; why, 
if there was two birds setting on a fence, he would bet 
you which one would fly first ; or if there was a camp- 
meeting, he woùld be there reg'lar, to bet on Parson 
Walker, which he judged to be the best exhorter about 
hère, and so he was too, and a good man. If he even 
see a straddle-bug start to go anywheres, he would bet 
you how long it would take him to get to — to wherever 
he was going to, and if you took him up, he would foUow 
that straddle-bug to Mexico but what he would find out 
where he was bound for and how long he was on the 
road. Lots of the boys hère has seen that Smiley, and 
can tell you about him. Why, it never made no différ- 
ence to him — he would bet on any thing — the dangdest 
feller. Parson Walker's wife laid very sick once, for a 
good while, and it seemed as if they wam't going to save 
her.; but one morning he come in, and Smiley up and 
asked him how she was, and he said she was considérable 
better — thank the Lord for his im'nit mercy — and coming 
on so Smart that with the blessing of Prov'dence she*d 
get well yet ; and Smiley, before he thought, says, " Well 
111 resk two-and-a-iialf that she don't, anyway." 

Thish-yer Smiley had a mare — the boys called her the 
fifteen-minute nag, but that was only in fun, you know, 
because, of course, she was faster than that — and he used 



i6 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

to win money on that horse, for ail she was so slow and 
always had the asthma, or the distemper, or the con- 
sumption, or something of that kind. They used to give 
her two or three hundred yards' start, and then pass her 
under way ; but always at the fag-end of the race she'd 
get excited and desperate-like, and corne cavorting and 
straddling iip, and scattering her legs around lifnber, 
sometimes in the air, and sometimes out to one side 
amongst the fences, and kicking up m-o-r-e dust and 
raising m-o-r-e racket with her coughing and sneezing 
and blowing her nose — and always fetch up at the stand 
just about a neck ahead, as near as you could cypher it 
down. 

And he had a little small bull-pup, that to look at him 
you'd think he wan't worth a cent, but to set around and 
look ornery, and lay for a chance to steal something. But 
as soon as money was up on him, he was a différent dog; 
his under-jaw'd begin to stick out like the fo'castle of a 
steamboat, and his teeth would uncover, and shine 
wicked, you hear me. And a dog might tackle him, and 
bully-rag him, and bite him, and throw him over his 
shoulder two or three times, and Andrew Jackson — 
which was the name of the pup — Andrew Jackson would 
never let on but what //^was satisfied, and hadn't ex- 
pected nothing else — and the bets being doubled and 
doubled on the other side ail the time, till the money was 
ail up ; and then ail of a sudden he would grab that other 
dog jest by the j'int of his hind leg and freeze to it — not 
chaw, you understand, but only jest grip and hang on till 
they throwed up the sponge, if it was a year. Smilev 
always corne out winner on that pup, till he harnessed 



THE JUMPINGy^ROG. 17 

dog once that didn*t hâve no hind legs, because they'd 
been sawed oflf by a circulai saw, and when the thing had 
gone along far enough, and the money was ail up, and he 
come to make a snatch for his pet holt, he see in a 
minute how he'd been imposed on, and how the other 
dog had him in the door, so to speak, and he 'peared 
surprised, and then he looked sorter discouraged-like, 
and didn't try no more to win the fight, and so he got 
shucked out bad. He give Smiley a look, as much as to 
say his heart was broke, and it was his fault, for putting 
up a dog that hadn't no hind legs for him to take holt of, 
which was his main dependence in a fight, and then he 
limped ofF a pièce and laid down and died. It was a 
good pup, was that Andrew Jackson, and would hâve 
made a name for hisself if he*d lived, for the stufF was in 
him, and he had genius — I know it, because he hadn't 
had no opportunities to speak of, and it don't stand to 
reason that a dog could make such a fight as he could 
under them circumstances, if he hadn*t no talent. It 
always makes me feel sorry when I think of that last fight 
of his*n, and the way it tumed put 

Well, thish-yer Smiley had rat-tarriers, and chicken 
cocks, and tom-cats, and ail them kind of things, till you 
couldn't rest, and you couldn*t fetch nothing for him to 
bet on but he'd match you. He ketched a frog one day, 
and took him home, and said he cal'lated to educate him; 
and so he never done nothing for three months but set in 
his back yard and leam that frog to jump. And you bet 
you he did leam him, too. He'd give him a little punch 
behind, and the next minute you'd see that frog whirling 
in the air like a doughnub«->3ee him tum one summerset^ 



i8 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES, 

or may be a couple, if he got a good start, and corné 
down flat-footed and ail right, like a cat. He got him up 
so in the matter of catching Aies, aild kept him in prac- 
tice so constant, that he'd nail a fly every tittife as far as 
he could see him. Smiley said ail a frog wânted was 
éducation, and he could do 'most anjrthing — and I believe 
him. Why, IVe seen him set Danl Webster down hère 
on this floor — Dan'l Webster was the name of the frog — 
and sing out, " Flies, Dan'l, Aies ! " and quicker'n you 
could wink, he'd spring straight up, and snake a fl)r ôflf 'n 
the counter there, and flop down on the |ioor again as 
solid as a gob of mud, and fall tô scratching the side of 
his head with his hind foot as indiffèrent as if he hadn't 
no idea he had been doin' anymore*n ahy frog might do. 
You never see a frog so modest and straightfor'ard ashe 
was, for ail he was so gifted. And when it come to fair 
ând square jumping on a dead level, he could get over 
more ground at one straddle thah any animal of his breed 
you ever see. Jumping on a dead level was his strong 
suit, you understand ; and when it come to that, Smiley 
would ante up money on him as long aà he had a red. 
Smiley was monstrous prôud of his frôgi and well he 
might be, for fellers thàt had travelled and been every- 
wheres, ail said he laid over any frog that ever they 
see. 

Well, Smiley kep' thé béast in a little latticé box, and 
hé used to fetch him down town sometimeâ and lay for à 
bet. One day a fcllér— a stranger in the camp, he waâ-^ 
come across him with his box, and sâys : 

" What might it be that youVe got in thé boit ? '' 
And Smiley èays, sorter indiffèrent like, " It might be 



THE JUMPING FROG, 19 

parrot, or it might be a canaxy, maybe, but it ain't — ^it's 
only just a frog." 

And the feller took it, and looked at it careful, and 
tumed it round this way and that, and says, " H'm — so 
'tis. Well, what's he good for ? " 

" Well," Smiley says, easy and careless, " he's good 
enough for one thing, I should judge — he câti outjump 
any frog in Calaveras county." 

The feller took the box again, and took another long, 
particular look, and give it back to Smiley, and says, very 
deliberate, " Well, I don't See no points about that frog 
thafs any better*n any other frog." 

" Maybe you don*t," Smiley says. " Maybe you un- 
derstand frogs, and maybe you don't understand 'em ; 
maybe youVe had experiente, and maybe you ain't only 
a amature, as it were. Ànyways, IVe got iHy opinion, 
and l'il resk forty dollars that he can outjump arty frog in 
Calaveras county." 

And the feller studied a minute, and then says, kinder 
sad like, •* Well, l'm only a stranger hère, and I ain*t got 
tto frog ; but if I had a frog, l'd bet you." 

And then Smiley says, "That's ail right — ^that's ail 
right — ^if you'U hold my bo* a minute, l'U go and get you 
a frog." And so the feller took the box, and put up 
bis forty dollars along with Siniley's, and Set down to 
trait 

Sô he set there a good while thinking and thinking to 
hisself, and then he got the frog out and prised his 
mouth open and took a teaspoon and filled him fuU of 
quail shot — ^filled him pretty near Up to his chin — and set 
Wm <m the flodr. Smiley he went to thè swamç asA 



20 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

slopped axound in the mud for a long time, and finally 
he ketched a frog, and fetched him in, and give him to 
this feller, and says : 

" Now, if you're ready, set him alongside of Dan*l, 
with his fore-paws just even with DanTs, and l'il give the 
Word." Then he says, "One— two — ^three — -^'//"and 
him and the feller touched up the frogs from behihd, and 
the new frog hopped oflf lively, but Dan'l give a heave, 
and hysted up his shoulders — so — like a Frenchman, but 
it wan't no use — he couldn*t budge ; he was planted as 
solid as a church, and he couldn*t no more stir than if he 
was anchored out Smiley was a good deal surprised, 
and he was disgusted too, but he didn't hâve no idea 
what the naatter was, of course. 

The feller took the money and started away; and 
when he was going oùt at the door, he sorter jerked his 
thumb over his shoulder — ^this way — at Dan'l, and says 
again, very deliberate, " Well, /don*t see no p'ints about 
that frog that*s any better'n any other frog." 

Smiley he stood scratching his head and looking down 
at Dan'l'a long time, and at last he sayg, " I do wonder 
what in the nation that frog throw'd oflf for — I wonder if 
there ain't something the matter with him— he 'pears to 
look mighty baggy, somehow." And he ketched Dan'l 
by the nap of the neck, and hefted him, and says, " Why, 
blâme my cats, if he don*t weigh flive pound ! " and tumed 
him upside down, and he belched out a double handful 
of shot And then he see how it was, and he was the 
maddest man — he set the frog down and took out after 
that feller, but he never ketched him. And 

[Hère Simon Wheeler heard his name called from the 



THE JUMPING FROG. 21 

front yard, and got up to see what was wanted.] And 
tuming to me as he moved away, he said : " Just set 
where you are, stranger, and rest easy — I ain't going to 
be gone a second." 

But, by your leave, I did not think that a continuation 
of the history of thç enterprising vagabond Jim Smiley 
would be likely to afFord me much information con- 
ceming the Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley, and so I started 
away. 

At the door I met the sociable Wheeler retuming, and 
he button-holed me and recommenced : 

" Well, thish-yer Smiley had ayaller one-eyed cow that 
didn't hâve no tail, only jest a short stump like a ban- 
nanner, and ^*' 

Lacking both time and inclination, I did not wait to 
hear about the afflicted cow, but took my leave. 



HOW I EDITED AN AGRICULTURAL 

PAPER ONCE. 

I DiD not take the temporary editorship of an agricul- 
tural paper without misgivings. Neither would a lands- 
man take command of a ship without misgivings. But 
I was in circumstances that mad^ the salary an object. 
The régulai éditer of the paper was going off for a holi- 
day, and I apcepted the terms he offered, and took his 
place. 

The sensation of being at work again was luxurious, 
and I wrought ail the week with unflagging pleasure. 
We went to press, and I waited a day with some solici- 
tude to see whether my effort was going to attract any 
notice. As I left the office, toward sundown, a group of 
men and boys at the foot of the stairs dispersed with one 
impulse, and gave me passage-way, and I heard one or 
two of them say : " That's him ! " I was naturally pleased 
by this incident The next momîng I found a similar 
group at the foot of the stairs, and scattering couples 
and individuals standing hère and there in the street, 
and over the way, watching me with interest The group 
separated and fell back as I approached, and I heard a 
man say, " Look at his eye 1 " I pretended not to ob- 
serve the notice I was attracting, but secretly I was 



HOW I EDITED A PAPER, 23 

pleased with it, and was purposing to write an account 
of it to my aunt. I went up the short flight of stairs, and 
heard cheery voices and a ringing laugh as I drew near 
the door, which I opened, and caught a glimpse of two 
young niral-looking men, whose faces blanched and 
lengthened wheu they saw me, and then they both 
plunged through the window with a great crash. I was 
surprised. 

In about half an hpur an old gentleman, with a flow- 
ing beard and a fii^ç but rather s^ustere face, çntered, and 
sat down at my invitation. He seemed to hâve some- 
thing on his mind. He took off his hat and set it on the 
floQT, ^nd gpt out of it a r^d silk handkerchief and a copy 
af our paper. ^ 

He put the paper on his lap, and, while he polished 
his spectacles with his handkerchief, he said, "Are you 
the new editor?'- 

I $aid I iva$. 

f^Have yQU pyer edited an g^gricultural paper be- 
fore?" 

" Np," I 5aid i " this is my first attempt" 

" Very likely. flave you had any expérience in agri- 
culture practically ? '* 

** No, I beUeve I hâve not" 

** Spme instinct tpld nie so," said the old gentleman, 
putting on his spectacles and looking over them at me 
with asperity, while he folded his paper into a convenient 
shape. " I wish to read you what must hâve made me 
hâve that instinct It was this editprial. Listen, and 
see if it was you that wrote it : — 

f* * Tiipiips should never be puUed, it injures them* 



24 MARK TWAJN'S SKETCHES. 

It is much better to send a boy up and let him shake the 
tree.' 

" Now, what do you think of that ? — ^for I really sup- 
pose you wrote it ? " 

" Think of it ? Why, I think it is good. I think it is 
sensé. I hâve no doubt that every year millions and 
millions of bushels of tumips are spoiled in this town- 
ship alone by being puUed in a half-ripe condition, when, 
if they had sent a boy up to shake the tree ^** 

"Shake your grandmother! Turnips don't grow on 
trees ! '* 

"Oh, they don't, don't they? Well, who said they 
did? The language was intended to be figurative, 
wholly figurative. Anybody that knows anything will 
know that I meant that the boy should shake the vine." 

Then this old person got up and tore his paper ail 
into small shreds, and stamped on them, and broke 
several things with his cane, and said I did not know as 
much as a cow ; and then went out and banged the door 
after him, and, in short, acted in such a way that I 
fancied he was displeased about something. But, not 
knowing what the trouble was, I could not be any help 
to him. 

Pretty soon after this a long cadaverous creatute, with 
lanky locks hanging down to his shoulders, and a week's 
stubble bristling from the hills and valleys of his face, 
darted within the door, and halted, motionless, with 
finger on lip, and head and body bent in listening atti- 
tude. No Sound was heard. Still he listened. No 
Sound. Then he tumed the key in the door, and came 
elaborately tiptoeing toward me till he was within long 



HOW I EDITED A PAPER. 25 

reaching distance of me, when he stopped, and after 
scanning my face with intense interest for a while, drew 
a folded copy of our paper from his bosom, and said — 

" There, you wrote that Read it to me, quick î 
Relieve me. I suffer." 

I read as foUows : and as the sentences fell from my 
lips I could see the relief come, I could see the drawn 
muscles relax, and the anxiety go out of the face, and 
rest and peace steal over the features like the merciful 
moonlight over a desolate landscape : 

" The guano is a fine bird, but great care is necessary in 
rearing it It should not be imported earlier than June 
or later than September. In the winter it should be 
kept in a warm place, where it can hatch out its young. 

" It is évident that we are to hâve a backward season 
for grain. Therefore, it will be well for the farmer to 
begin setting out his com-stalks and. planting his buck- 
wheat cakes in July instead of August. 

" Conceming the Pumpkin. — This berry is a favourite 
with the natives of the interior of New England, who 
jJrefer it to the gooseberry for the making of fruit cake, and 
who likewise give it the préférence over the raspberry for 
feeding cows, as being more fiUing and fully as satisfying. 
The pumpkin is the only esculent of the orange family 
that will thrive in the North, except the gourd and one 
or two varieties of the squash. But the custom of plant- 
ing it in the front yard with the shrubbery is fast going 
out of vogue, for it is now generally conceded that the 
pumpkin as a shade tree is a failure. 

"Now, as the warm weather approaches, and the 
ganders begin to spawn *^ 



26 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

The excited listener sprang toward me, to shake hands, 
and said — 

"There, there, that will do ! I know I am ail right 
npw, because you hâve read it just as I did, word for 
word. But, stranger, when I first read it this morping I 
said to myself, I never, never believed it before, notwith- 
standing my friends kept me under watch so strict, but 
now I believe I am cr3.zy; and with that I fetched a 
howl that you might hâve heard two miles, and started 
out to*kill somebody — ^because, you know, I knew it 
would corne to that sooner or later, and so I might as 
well begin. I read one of them paragraphs over again, 
so as to be certain, and then I bum^d my house down 
and started. I hâve crippled several people, and hâve 
got one fellow up a tree, where I can get him if I want 
him. But I thought I would call in hère as I passed 
along, and make the thing perfectly certain ] and now it 
ts certain, and I tell yqu it is lucky for the chap that is 
in the tree. I should hâve killed him, sure, as I went 
back. Good-by, sir, good-by; you hâve taken a great 
load off my mind. My reason has stood the strain of 
one of yoiu: agric^ltural articles, and I know that nothing 
can ever imseat it now. Good-hy, sir." 

I felt a little uncomfortable about the cripplings and 
arsons this perso^ had been eptertaining himself with, 
for I could not help feeling remotely acçessory to them ; 
but thèse thoughts lyere quickly banished, for the regular 
editor walked in ! [I ^ought to myself, Nqw, if you 
had gone to Egypt as I recommended you to I might 
hâve had a chance to get my hand in ; but you wouldn't 
do it, and hère you are. I sort of expected you.] 



NO IV I EDITED A PAPER. 27 

The editor was looking sad and perplexed and 
dejected. 

He surveyed the wreck which that old noter and 
those two young farmers had made, and then said, 
"This is a sad business — a very sad business. There 
is the mucilage bottle broken, and six panes of glass, 
and 9' spittoon and two candlesticks. But that is net 
the worst. The réputation of the paper is injured, and 
permanently, I fear. True, there never was such a call 
for the paper before, and it never sold such a large 
édition or soared to such celebrity ; but does one want 
to be famous for lunacy, and prosper upon the infir- 
mities of his mind ? My friend, as I am an honest man, 
the Street out hère is fiill of people, and others are 
roosting on the fences, waiting to get a glimpse of you, 
bea^use they think you are crazy. And well they might 
after reading your editorials. They are a disgrâce to 
joumalism. Why, what put it into your head that you 
could edit a paper of this nature ? You do not seem to 
.know the first rudiments of agriculture. You speak of a 
furrow and a harrow as being the same thing ; you talk 
pf the mpulting season for cows ; and you recommend 
the domestication of the pole-cat on account of its play- 
fiilness and its excellence as a ratter. Your remark that 
clams will lie quiet if music be played to them was 
superfluous — entirely superfluous. Npthing disturbs 
clams. Clams always lie quiet. Clams care nothing 
whatever about music. Ah, heavens and earth, friend ! 
if you had made the acquiring of ignorance the study 
of your life you could not hâve graduated with higher 
honour than you could to-day. I never saw anything 



28 MARK TWAIWS SKETCHES, 

like it Your observation that the horse-chestnut as an 
article of commerce is steadily gaining in favour is 
simply calculated to destroy this journal. I want you 
to tiirow up your situation and go. I want no more 
holiday — I could not enjoy it if I had it. Certainly not 
with you in my chair. I would always stand in dread 
of what lyou might be going to recommend next It 
makes me lose ail patience every time I think of your 
discussing oyster beds under the head of * Landscape 
Gardening.' I want you to go. Nothîng on earth 
could persuade me to take another holiday. Oh, why 
didn't you tdl me you didn't know anything about 
agriculture ?" 

" Tell you, you comstalk, you cabbage, you son of a 
cauliflower? It*s the first time I ever heard such an 
unfeeling remark. I tell you I hâve been in the 
editorial business going' on fourteen years, and it is the 
first time I ever heard of a man's having to know any- 
thing in order to edit a newspaper. You turnip ! Who 
Write the dramatic critiques for the second-rate papers ? 
Why, a parcel of promoted shoemakers and apprentice 
apothecaries, who know just as much about good acting 
as I do about good farming, and no more. Who review the 
books ? People who never wrote one. Who do up the 
heavy leaders on finance? Parties who hâve had the 
largest opportunities for knowing nothing about it. Who 
criticise the Indian campaigns ? Gentlemen who do not 
know a war-whoop from a wigwam, and who never hâve 
had to run a foot-race with a tomahawk, or pluck 
arrows out of the several members of their familles to 
build the evening camp-fire with. WTio write the tem- 



HOW I EDITED A PAPER. 2g 

perance appeals and clamour about the flowing bowl? 
Folks who will never draw another sober breath till they 
do it in the grave. Who edit the agricultural papers, 
you — ^yam? Men, as a gênerai thing, who fail in the 
poetry line, yellow-covered novel line, sensation-drama 
Une, city-editor line, and finally fall back on agriculture 
as a temporary reprieve from the poor-house. Yoîi try 
to tell me anything about the newspaper business ! Sir, 
I hâve been through it from Alpha to Omaha, and I tell 
you that the less a man knows the bigger noise he 
makes and the higher the salary he commands. Heaven 
knows if I had but been ignorant instead of cultivated, 
and impudent instead of diffident, I could hâve made a 
name for myself in this cold selfish world. I take my 
leave, sir. Since I hâve been treated as you hâve 
treated me, I am perfectly willing to go. But I hâve 
done my duty. I hâve fulfiUed my contract, as far as I 
was permitted to do it. I said I could make your paper 
of interest to ail classes, and I hâve. I said I could 
run your circulation up to twenty thousand copies, and 
if I had had two more weeks l'd hâve done it. And 
l'd hâve given you the best class of readers that ever 
an agricultiu'al paper had — not a farmer in it, nor a soli- 
tary individual who could tell a water-melon tree from a 
peach-vine to save his life. You are the loser by this 
rupture, not me, Pie-plant. Adios." 
I then left 



A NEW BEECHER CHURCH. 

If the Rev. Mr. Smith, or the Rev. Mr. Jones, or the 
Rev. Mr. Brown, were about to build a new church 
édifice, it would be projected on the same old pattem, 
and be like pretty much ail the other churches in the 
country, and so I would naturally mention it as a new 
Presbyterian church, or a new Methodist, or a new 
Baptist church, and never think of calling it by the 
pastor*s name; but when a Beecher projects a church, 
that édifice is necessarily going to be something entirely 
fresh and original ; it is not going to be like any other 
church in the world; it is going to be as variegated, 
eccentric, and marked with as peculiar and striking an 
individuality as a Beecher himself ; it is going to hâve a 
deal more Beecher in it than any one narrow creed can 
fit into without rattling, or any one arbitrary order of 
architecture can symmetrically enclose and cover. Coh- 
sequently to call it simply a Congregatiônal church would 
not give half an idea of the thing. There is only onë 
Word broad enough, and wide enough, and deep enough 
to take in the whole afFair, and express it cleanly, lumi- 
nously, and concisely — and that is Beecher, The projected 
édifice I am about to speak of is, therefore, properly 
named in my caption as a new ^^ Beecher Church." 



A NEW ÉEECHER CHURCH. 31 

Thé projector is the Rev. Thomas K. Beecher — 
brother of the othér one, of course — I never knew but 
one Bêecher that wasn't, and he was a nephew. The new 
church is to be built in Elmira, N. Y., where Mr. B. has 
been preaching to one and the same congrégation for the 
last sixteen years, and is thoroughly èsteemed and be* 
loved by hià people. I hâve had opportunity to hear ail 
about the new church, for I hâve lately been visiting in 
Elmira. 

Now, when bné has that disease which give its pos- 
sessor the title of " humorist," he must make oath to his 
statements, else the public ivill ndt believe him. There- 
fore I make solemn oath that whàt t am going to tell 
âbout the ttew church is the strict truth. 

The main building — ^for there are to be threé^ massed 
together in a large grassy âquare, omamented with quite 
a forest of shade trees — ^will be the church proper. It 
will be lofty, in order to secure good air and ventilation. 
The auditorium will be drcular — an amphithéâtre, after 
the ordmary pattem of an ôpera-house, wUhotd gaileries, 
It is to seat a thousand persons. On one side (or one 
fend, if you choose) will be an ample, raised platform for 
the minister, the rear half of which will be occupied by 
the otgan and the choir. Before the minister will be the 
circling amphithéâtre of pews^ the first thirty or forty on 
tiie lievel floor, and the next rising in graduated tiers to 
the walls. The seats on the level floor will be occupied 
by the aged and infirm, who can enter the church 
through a hall under the speaker's platform, without 
dimbing any stairs. The people occupying the raised 
tiers will enter by a dozen doors opcning into the church 



32 MARK TIVAIN'S SKETCHES. 

from â lobby like an opera-house lobby, and descend the 
varions aisles to their places. In case of fire or earth- 
quakes thèse niunerous exits will be convenient and 
usefuL 

No space is to be wasted. Under the raised tiers of 
pews are to be stalls for horses and carriages, so that 
thèse may be sheltered from sun and rain. There will be 
twenty-four of thèse stalls, each stall to be entered by an 
arch of omamental masonry — no doors to open or shut. 
Consequently, the outside base of the church will hâve a 
formidable port-hole look, like a man-of-war. The stalls 
are to be so mailed with " deadeners," and so thoroughly 
plastered, that neither sound nor smell can ascend to the 
church and ofFend the worshippers. The horses will be 
in attendance at church but an hour or two at a time, of 
course, and can défile the stalls but little ; an immédiate 
cleansing after they leave is to set that ail right again. 

There is to be no steeple on the church— merely be- 
cause no practical use can be made of it. 

There is to be no bell, because ail men know what 
time church service begins without that exasperating 
nuisance. In explanation of this remark, I will state 
that at home I sufFer in the vicinity and under the dis- 
tracting clangour of thirteen church bells, ail of whom (is 
that right?) clamour at once, and no two in accord. A 
large part of my time is taken up in devising cruel and 
unusual sufferings and in fancy inflicting them on those 
bell-ringers, and having a good time. 

The second building is to be less lofty than the church ; 
it is to be built right against the rear of it, and communi- 
cate with it by a door. It is to hâve two stories. On 



A NEW BEECHER CHURCH. 33 

the first floor will be thre^ distinct Sunday school rooms ; 
ail large, but one 'considerably larger than the other two. 
The Sunday school connected with Mr. Beecher's church 
has always been a " graded " one, and each department 
singularly thorough in its grade of instruction ; the pupil 
wins his advancement to the higher grades by hard-won 
proficiency, not by mère added years. The largest of 
the three compartments will be used as the main Sunday 
school room and for the week-day evening lecture. 

The whole upper story of this large building will be 
well lighted and ventilated, and occupied whoUy as a 
play-room for the children of the church, and it will 
stand open and welcome to them through ail the week- 
days. They can fill it with their playthings if they 
choose, and besides it will be fumished with dumb-bells, 
swings, rocking-horses, and ail such matters as children 
delight in. The idea is to make a child look upon a 
church as only another home^ and a sunny one, rather 
than as a dismal exile or a prison. 

The third building will be less lofty than the second ; 
it will adjoin the rear of the second, and communicate 
with it by a door or doors. It will consist of three 
stories. Like the other two buildings, it will cover con- 
sidérable ground. On the first floor will be the " church 
parlours " where the usual social gatherings of modem 
congrégations are held. On the same floor, and opening 
into the parlours, will be a reception-room, and also a 
circulating library — 2^free library — ^not simply free to the 
church membership, but to everybody, just as is the pré- 
sent library of Mr. Beechefs church (and few libraries 
are more extensively and more diligently and giatefiillY 



34 MARK TWAirrS SKETCHES. 

used than this one). Also on .this first floor, and com- 
municating with the parleurs, will be — tell it not in Gath, 
publish it not in Askalon ! — six bath roomsl — hot and 
cold water — free tickets issued to any applicant among 
the unclean of the congrégation ! The idea is sound and 
sensible, for this reason : Many members of ail congré- 
gations hâve no good bathîng facilities, and are not able 
to pay for them at the barbers' shops without feeling the 
expense ; and yet a luxurious bath is a thing that ail civil- 
ized beings greatly enjoy and dérive healthy benefit from. 
The • church buildings are to be heated by steam, and 
consequently^ the waste steam can be very judiciously 
utilised in the proposed bath rooms. In speaking of this 
bath-room project, I hâve revealed a state secret — ^but I 
never could keep one of any kind, state or otherwise. 
Even the congrégation were not to know of this matter, 
the building committee were to leave it iinmentioned in 
their report; but I got hold of it — and from a member of 
that committee, too — and I had rather part with one of 
my hind legs than keep still about it. The bath rooms 
are unquestionably to be built, and so why not tell it ? 

In the second story of this third building will be the 
permanent résidence of the " church missionary," a lady 
who constanùy looks after the poor and sick of the 
church ; also a set of lodging and living rooms for the 
janitors (or janitresses ? — ^for they will be women, Mr. 
Beecher holding that women are tidier and more efficient 
in such a position than men, and that they ought to dwell 
upon the prcmises and give them their undivided care); 
also on this second floor are to be six rooms to do duty 
as a church in&rmary for the sick poor of the eongreg%- 



A NE IV BEECHER CHURCH, 35 

tion, thîs church having ahvays supported and taken care 
of its own unfortunates instead of leaving them to the 
public charity. In the infirnjary will be kept one or two 
water-beds (for invalids whose pains will not allow them 
to lie on a less yielding substance), and half-suiozen 
reclining invalid-chairs on wheels. The water-beds and 
invalid-chairs at présent belonging to the church are 
always in demand and never out of service. Part of the 
appurtenances of the new church will be a horse and an 
easy vehîcle, to be kept and driven by a janitor, and used 
whoUy for giving the church's indigent invalids air and 
exercise. It is found that such an establishment is daily 
needed — so much so, indeed, as to almost amount to a 
church necessity. 

The third story of this third building is to be occupied 
as the church kitchen^ and it is sensibly placed aloft, so 
that the ascending noises and boarding-house smells shall 
go up and aggravate the birds instead of the saints — 
except such of the latter as are above the clouds, and 
they can easily keep out of the way of it, no doubt. 
Dumb-waiters will carry the food down to the church 
parlours, instead of up. Why is it that nobody has 
thought of the simple wisdom of this arrangement be- 
fore ? Is it for a church to step forward and tell us how 
to get rid of kitchen smells and noises ? . If it be asked 
why the new church will need a kitchen, I remind the 
reader of the infirmary occupants, etc. They must eat; 
and, besides, social gatherings of members of this con- 
grégation méet at the church parlours as often as three 

and four evenings a week, and sew, drink tea, and g . 

G- — . It commences with g, I think, but sotc^Vv^^ \. 



36 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

cannot think of the word. The new church parlours will 
be large, and it is intended that thèse social gatherings 
shall be promoted and encouraged, and that they shall 
take an added phase, viz. : when several families want to 
indulge in a little reunion, and hâve not room in their 
small houses at home, they can hâve it in the church 
parlours. You will notice in every feature of thi» new 
church one prédominant idea and purpose always dis- 
cemible — the banding together of the congrégation as a 
family^ and the making of the church a home. You see it 
in the play-room, the library, the parlours, the baths, the 
infirmary — it is everywhere. It is the great central, 
ruling idea. To entirely consummate such a thing would 
be impossible with nearly any other congrégation in the 
Union ; but after sixteen years of moulding and teaching, 
Mr. Beecher has made it whoUy possible and practicable 
with this one. It is not stretching metaphor too far to 
say that he is the father of his people, and his church 
their mother. 

If the new church project is a curiosity, it is still but 
an inferior curiosity compared to the plan of raising the 
money for it. One could hâve told, with his eyes shut 
and one hand tied behind him, that it originated with a 
Beecher — I was going to say with a lunatic, but the 
success of the plan robs me of the opportunity. 

When it was decided to build a new church édifice at 
a cost of not less than 40,000 dollars nor more than 
50,000 dollars (for the membership is not three hundred 
and fifty strong, and there are not six men in it who can 
strictly be called rich), Mr. Beecher gave to each member 
a printed circular worded as follows — each circular 



A NE IV BEECHER CHURCH, 37 

enclosed in an envelope prepaid and addresséd to him- 
self, to be returned through the post-office : 

[CONFIDENTIAi.] 

It is proposed to build a meeling-house and other rooms for the 
the use of the church. To do this work honestly and well, it is pro- 
posed to spend one year in raising a part of the money in aévance, 
and in getting plans and making contracts. 

One year— plans and contracts . .April I, 187 1, to 1872 

,, „ build and cover in . . ,, 1872, „ 1873 

y, „ plaster, finish, and fumish . „ I873, ,, 1874 

») » P^y ^of '^^ full and dedicate . „ 1^74» ?> 1^75 

It is proposed to expend not less than twenty thousand dollars nor 
more than fifty thousand — according to the ability shown by ,the 
retums of thèse cards of confidential subscription. Any member 
of the church and congrégation, or any friend of the church, is 
allowed and invited to subscribe. But no one is urged. 

T. K. Beecher, Pastor. 

To help build our meeting-house, I think that I shall be able 
togive 

Not less than and 

Not more than 

Each year for four years, beginning April i, 1871. 
Or I can make in one payment 

Trusting in the Lord to help me, I hereby subscribe the same as 
noted above. 

Name . . 

Résidence 

The subscriptions were to be wholly voluntary and 
strictly confidential; no one was to know the amount 
of a man's subscription except himself and the minister ; 
nobody was urged to give anything at ail ; ail were simply 
invited to give whatever sum they felt was right and just, 
from ten cents upward, and no questions askôd^ wo c\\. 



38 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

ticisms made, tio revealments uttered. There was no 
possible chance for glory, for even though a man gave 
his whole fortune nobody would ever know it. I do not 
know when anything has struck me as being so utopîan, 
so absurdly romantîc, so ignorant, oh its face, of human 
nature. And so anybody would hâve thought. Parties 
said Mr. Beecher had "educated" his people, and that 
each would give as he privately felt able, and not bother 
about the glory. I believed human nature to be a more 
potent educator than any minister, and that the resuit 
would show it. But I was ^Tong. At the end of a 
month or two, some two-thirds of the circulais had 
weîided back, one by one, to the pastor, silently and 
secretly, through the post-office, and then, without men- 
tioning the name of any giver or the amount of his gift, 
Mr. Beecher announced from the pulpit that ail the 
money needed was pledged — the certain amount being 
over 45,000 dollars, and the possible amount over 53,000 
dollars ! When the remaind^r of the circulars hâve come 
in, it is confidently expected and believed that they will 
add to thèse amounts a sum of not less than 10,000 dol- 
lars. A great many subscriptions from children and 
working men consisted of cash enclosures ranging from a 
ten cent currency stamp up to five, ten, and fifteen dol- 
lars. As I said before, the plan of levying the building 
tax, and the success of the plan, are much more curious 
and surprising than the exceedingly curious édifice the 
money is to create. 

The reason the moneys are to be paîd in four annual 
instalments — ^for that is the plan — is, partly to make the 
payraents easy, but chiefly because the church is to be 



A NE IV BEECHER CHURCH, 39 

substantially built, and its several parts allowed time to 
settle and season, each in its tum. For instance, the 
substructures will be allowed a good part of the first year 
to settle and compact themselves, after completion ; the 
walls the second year, and so forth and so on. There is 
to be no work done by contract, and no unseasoned 
wood used. The materials are to be sound and good ; 
and honest, compétent, conscientious workmen (Beecher 
says there are such, the opinion of the world to the con- 
trary notwithstanding) hired at full wages, by the day, to 
put them together. 

The above statements are ail true and genuine, accord- 
ing to the oath I hâve already made thereto, and which 
I am now about to repeat before a notary, in légal form, 
with my hand upon the Book. Consequently we are 
going to hâve at least one sensible, but very, very curions 
church in America, 

I am aware that I had no business to tell ail thèse 
matters, but the reporter instinct was strong upon me, 
and I could not help it. And besides they were in 
everybody's mouth in Elmira, anyway. 



THE STORY OF THE BAD LITTLE BOY 
WHO DIDNT COME TO GRIEF. 

Once there was a bad little boy, whose name was Jim 
— though, if you will notice, you will find that bad little 
boys are nearly always called James in your Sunday- 
school books. It was very strange, but still it was true, 
that this one was simply called Jim. 

He didn't hâve any sick mother, either — a sick mother 
who was pious and had the consumption, and would be 
glad to lie down in the grave and be at rest, but for the 
strong love she bore her boy, and the anxiety she felt 
that the world would be harsh and cold toward him 
when she was gone. Most bad boys in the Sunday 
books are named James, and hâve sick mothers, who 
teach them to say, " Now I lay me down,'* &c., and sing 
them to sleep with sweet plaintive voices, and then kiss 
them good-night, and kneel down by the bedside and 
weep. But it was différent with this fellow. He was 
named Jim, and there wasn't anything the matter with 
his mother — ^no consumption, or anything of that kind. 
She was rather stout than otherwise, and she was not 
pious ; moreover, she was not anxious on Jim's account. 
She said if he were to break his neck, it wouldn*t be 
much loss. She always spanked Jim to sleep, and she 



THE BAD LITTLE BOY, 41 

never kissed him good-night; on the contrary, she 
boxed his ears when she was ready to leave him. 

Once this little bad boy stole the key of the pantry 
and slipped in there and helped himself to some jam, 
and fiUed up the yessel with tar, so that his mother 
would never know the différence ; but ail at once a ter- 
rible feeling didn't corne over him, and something didn*t 
seem to whisper to him, "Is it right to disobey my 
mother? Isn't it sinful to do this? Where do bad 
little boys go who gobble up their good kind mother's 
jam?" and then he didn*t kneel down ail alone and 
promise never to be wicked any more, and rise up 
with a light, happy heart, and go and tell hi^ mother ail 
about it, and beg her forgiveness, and be blessed by her 
with tears of pride and thankfulness in her eyes. No ; 
that is the way with ail other bad boys in the books ; 
but it happened otherwise with this Jim, strangely 
enough. He ate that jam, and said it was bully, in his 
sinful, vulgar way ; and he put in the tar, and said that 
was bully also, and laughed, and observed " that the old 
woman would get up and snort " when she found it out ; 
and when she did find it out, he denied knowing any- 
thing about it, and she whipped him severely, and he did 
the crying himself. Everything about this boy was curions 
— everything tumed out differently with him from the 
way it does to the bad Jameses in the books. 

Once he climbed up Farmer Acom's apple-tree to 
steal apples, and the limb didn't break, and he didn't 
fall and break his arm, and get tom by the farmer's great 
dogy and then languish on a sick bed for weeks, and 
repent and become good. Oh ! no ; he stole as maiv^ 



42 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

• 

apples as he wanted, and came down ail rîght ; and he 
was ail ready for the dog too, and knocked him endways 
with a brick when he came to tear him. It was very 
strange— nothing like it ever happened in those mild 
little books with marbled backs, and with pictures in 
them of men with swallow-tailed coats, and bell-crowned 
hats, and pantaloons that are short in the legs, and 
women with the waists of their dresses under their arms, 
and no hoops on. Nothing like it in any of the Sunday- 
school books. 

Once he stole the teacher's penknife, and when he 
was afraid it would be found out, and he would get 
whipped, he slipped it into George Wilson's cap— -poor 
Widow Wilson's son, the moral boy, the good little boy 
of the village, who always obeyed his mother, and never 
told an untruth, and was fond of his lessons and infa- 
tuated with Sunday-schooL And when the knife dropped 
from the cap, and poor George himg his head and 
blushed, as if in conscious guilt, and the grieved teacher 
charged the theft upon him, and was just in the very 
act of bringing the switch down upon his trembling 
shoulders, a white-haired improbable justice of the peace 
did not suddenly appear in their midst and strike an 
attitude and say "Spare this noble boy — ^there stands 
the cowering culprit ! I was passing the school-door at 
recess, and, uhseen myself, I saw the theft committed ! *' 
And then Jim didn*t get whaled, and the vénérable 
justice didn't read the tearful school a homily, and take 
George by the hand and say such a boy deserved to be 
exalted, and then tell him to come and make his home 
with him, and sweep out thç office, and make fires, and 



THE BAD LITTLE BOY. 43 

run errands, and chop wood, and study law, and help 
his wife to do household labours, and hâve ail the 
balance of the time to play, and get forty cents a 
month, and be happy. No; it would hâve happened 
that way in the books, but it didu't happen that way to 
Jim, No meddling old clam of a justice dropped in to 
make trouble, and so the model boy George got thrashed, 
and Jim was glad of it ; because, you know, Jim hated 
moral boys. Jim said he was "down on them milk- 
sops." Such was the coarse language of this bad, 
neglected boy. 

But the strangest thing that ever happened to Jim was 
the time he went boating on Sunday and didn*t get 
drowned, and that other time that he got caught out in 
the storm when he was fishing on Sunday, and didn't 
get struck by lightning. Why, you might look, and look, 
and look through the Sunday-school books, from now 
till next Christmas, and you would never come across 
anything like this. Oh ! no ; you would find that ail 
the bad boys who go boating on Sunday invariably get 
drowned ; and ail the bad boys who get caught out in 
storms, when they are fishing on Sunday, infallibly get 
struck by lightning. Boats with bad boys in them 
always upset on Sunday, and it always stofms when bad 
boys go fishing on the Sabbath. How this Jim ever 
escaped is a mystery to me. 

This Jim bore a charmed life — that must hâve been 
the way of it Nothing could hurt him. He even gave 
the éléphant in the ménagerie a plug of tobacco, and 
the éléphant didn't knock the top of his head oflf with 
his trunk. He browsed around the cupboard after 



44 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

essence of peppermint, and didn't make a mistake and 
drink aquafortis, He stole his father's gun and went 
hunting on the Sabbath, and didn't shoot three or four 
of his fingers off. He struck his little sister on the 
temple with his fist whçn he was angry, and she didn't 
linger in pain through long summer days, and die with 
sweet words of forgiveness upon her lips that redoubled 
the anguish of his breaking heart. No ; she hit back \ 
and she never got sick at alL He ran ofF and went to 
sea at last, and didn't corne back and find himself sad 
and alone in the world, his loved ones sleeping in the 
quiet churchyard, and the vine-embowered home of his 
boyhood tumbled down and gone to decay. Ah ! no ; 
he came home drunk as a piper, and got into the 
station-house the first thing. 

And he grew up, and married, and raised a laige 
family, and brained them ail with an axe one night, and 
got wealthy by ail manner of cheating and rascality ; 
and now he is the infemalest wickedest scoundrel in his 
native viUage, and is universally respected, and belongs 
to the Législature. 

So you see there never was a bad James in the 
Sunday-school books that had such a streak of luck as 
this sinful Jim* with the charmed life. 



THE STORY OF THE GOOD LITTLE BOY 
WHO DID NOT PROSPER. 

Once there was a good little boy by the name of 
Jacob Blivens. He always obeyed his parents, no 
matter how absurd and unreasonable their demands 
were ; and he always leamed his book, and never was 
late at Sabbath School. He would not play hookey, 
even when his sober judgment told him it was the most 
profitable thing he could do. None of the other boys 
could ever make that boy out, he acted so strangely. 
He wouldn't lie, no matter how convenient it was. He 
just said*ît was wrong to lie, and that was sufficient for 
him. And he was so honest that he was simply ridicu- 
lous. The curious ways that that Jacob had surpassed 
everything. He wouldn't play marbles on Sunday, he 
wouldn't rob birds* nests, he wouldn't give hot pennies to 
OTgan-grinders' monkeys; he didn*t seem to take any 
interest in any kind of rational amusement So the other 
boys used to try to reason it out and come to an under- 
standing of him, but they couldn't arrive at any satisfac- 
tory conclusion. As I said before, they could only figure 
out a sort of vague idea that he was " afflicted," and so 
they took him under their protection, and never allowed 
any harm to come to him. 



46 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

This good little boy read ail the Sunday-school books ; 
they were his greatest delight. This was the whole secret 
of it. He beUeved in the good little boys they put in the 
Sunday-school books ; he had every confidence in them. 
He longed to corne across one of them alive, once ; but 
he never did. They ail died before his time, maybe. 
Whenever he read about a particularly good one he 
tumed over quickly to the end to see what became of 
him,- because he wanted to travel thousands of miles and 
gaze on him ; but it wasn*t any use j that good little boy 
always died in the last chapter, and there was a picture 
of the funeral, with ail his relations and the Sunday-school 
children standing around the grave in pantaloons that 
were too short, and bonnets that were too large, and 
everybody crying into handkerchiefs that had as much as 
a yard and a half of stufF in them. He was always 
headed ofF in this way. He never could see one of 
those good little boys on account of his always dying in 
the last chapter. 

Jacob had a noble ambition to be put in a Sunday- 
school book. He wanted to be put in, with pictures 
representing him gloriously declining to lie to his mother, 
and her weeping for joy about it; and pictures repre- 
senting him standing on the doorstep giving a penny to 
a poor beggar-woman with six children, and telling her 
to spend it freely, but not to be extravagant, because 
extravagance is a sin; and pictures of him magnani- 
mously refusing to tell on the bad boy who always lay 
in wait for him around the corner as he came from 
school, and welted him over the head with a lath, and 
then chased him home, saying, " Hi ! hi ! " as he prè- 



THE GOOD LITTLE BOY. 47 

ceeded That was the ambition of young Jacob Blivens. 
He wished to be put in a Sunday-school book. It made 
him feel a little uncomfortable sometimes when he re- 
flected that the good little boys always died. He loved 
to live, you know, and this was the most unpleasant 
feature about being a Sunday-school-book boy. He 
knew it was not healthy to be good. He knew it was 
more fatal than consumption to be so supernaturally 
good as the boys in the books were ; he knew that none 
of them had ever been able to stand it long, and it pained 
him to think that if they put him in a book he wouldn't 
ever see it, or even if they did get the book out before 
he died it wouldn't be popular without any picture of his 
funeral in the back part of it. It couldn't be much of a 
Sunday-school book that couldn't tell about the advice he 
gave to the community when he was dying. So at last, 
of course, he had to make up his mind to do the best he 
could under the circumstances— to live right, and hang 
on as long as he could, and hâve his dying speech ail 
ready when his time came. 

But somehow nothing ever went right with this good 
little boy ; nothing ever tumed out with him the way it 
tumed out with the good little boys in the books. They 
always had a good time, and the bad boys had the broken 
legs ; but in his case there was a screw loose somewhere, 
and it ail happened just the other way. When he found 
Jim Blake stealing apples, and went under the tree to 
rcad to him about the bad little boy who fell out 
of a neighbour's apple-tree and broke his arm, Jim 
fell out of the tree too, but he fell on him^ and broke 
his am, and Jim wasn't hurt at ail. Jacob couldn't 



48 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

understand that. There wasn't anything in the books 
like it! 

And once, when some bad boys pushed a blind man 
over in the mud, and Jacob ran to help him up and 
receive his blessing, the blind man did not give him any 
blessing at ail, but whacked him over the head with his 
stick and said he would like to catch him shoving him 
again, and then pretending to help him up. This was 
not in accordance with any of the books. Jacob looked 
them ail over to see. 

One thing that Jacob wanted to do was to find a lame 
dog that hadn*t any place to stay, and was hungry and 
persecuted, and bring him home and pet him, and hâve 
that dog*s imperishable gratitude. And at last he found 
one and was happy ; and he brought him home and fed 
him, but when he was going to pet him the dog flew at 
him and tore ail the clothes ofF him except those that 
were in front, and made a spectacle of him that was 
astonishing. He examined authorities, but he could not 
understand the matter. It was of the same breed of 
dogs that was in the books, but it acted very differently. 
Whatever this boy did he got into trouble. The very 
things the boys in the books got rewarded for tumed out 
to be about the most unprôfitable things hè could invest 
in. 

Once when he was on his way to Sunday-school he 
saw some bad boys starting ofF pleasuring in a sail-boat. 
He was fiUed with consternation, because he knew from 
his reading that boys who went sailing on Sunday in- 
variably got drowned. So he ran out on a raft to wam 
them, but a log tumed with him and slid him into the 



THE GOOD LITTLE BOY. 49 

river. A man got him out pretty soon, and the doctor 
pumped the water out of him, and gave him a fresh start 
with his bellows, but he caught cold and lay sick a-bed 
nine weeks. But the most unaccountable thing about it 
was that the bad boys in the boat had a good time ail 
day, and then reached home alive and well in the most 
surprising manner. Jacob Blivens said there was nothing 
like thèse things in the books. He was perfectly dumb- 
founded. 

When he got well he was a little discouraged, but he 
resolved to kee'p on trying anyhow. He knew that so 
far his expériences wouldn't do to go in a book, but he 
hadn't yet reached the allotted term of life for good 
Ettle boys, and he hoped to be able to make a record 
yet if he could hold] on till his time was fuUy up. If 
everjrthing else failed he had his dying speech to fall 
back on. 

He examined his authorities, and found that it was 
now time for him to go to sea as a cabin-boy. He called 
on a ship captain and made his application, and when 
the captain asked for his recommendations he proudly 
dréw out a tract and pointed to the words, " To Jacob 
Hivens, from his affectionate teacher." But the captain 
wiis à coarse vulgar man, and he said, " Oh, that be 
blowed ! that wasn't any proof that he knew how to wash 
dishes or handle a slush-bucket, and he guessed he didn*t 
want him." This was altogether the most extraordinary 
thing that ever happened to Jacob in ail his life. A 
compliment «from a teacher, on a tract, had never failed 
to move the tenderest émotions of ship captains, and 
open the way to ail offices of honour and profit in their 



50 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

gift — ^it never had in any book that ever he had read, 
He could hardly believe his sensés. 

This boy always had a hard time of it. Nothing ever 
came out according to the authorities wîth him. At last, 
one day, when he was around hunting up bad little boy$ 
to admonish, he found a lot of them in the old iron 
foundry fixing up a little joke on fourteen or fifteen dogs, 
which they had tied together in long procession and 
were going to omament with empty nitro-glycerine cans 
made fast to their tails. Jacob's heart was touched. 
He sat down on one of those cans (for he never minded 
grease when duty was before him), and he took hold of 
the foremost dog by the coUar, and tumed his reproving 
eye upon wicked Tom Jones. But just at that moment 
Alderman McWelter, fuU of wrath, stepped in. AU the 
bad boys ran away, but Jacob Blivens rose in conscious 
innocence and began one of those stately little Sunday- 
school-book speeches which always commence with* " Oh, 
sir ! " in dead opposition to the fact that no boy, good or 
bad, ever starts a remark with " Oh, sir ! " But the 
alderman never waited to hear the rest. He took Jacob 
Blivens by the ear and tumed him round, and hit him a 
whack in the rear with the flat of his hand j and in an 
instant that good little boy shot out through the roof and 
soared away towards the sun, with the fragments of those 
fifteen dogs stringing after him like the tail of a kite. 
And there wasn*t a sign of that alderman or that old iron 
foundry lefl on the face of the earth ; and, as for young 
Jacob Blivens, he never got a chance to make his last 
dying speech after ail his trouble fixing it up, unless he 
made it to the birds ; because, alt;houçh thç bulk of him 



THE GOOD LITTLE BOY. 51 

came down ail right in a tree-top in an adjoinîng county, 
the rest of him was apportioned around among four 
townships, and so they had to hold five inquests on him 
to find out whether he was dead or not, and liow it 
occurred. You never saw a boy scattered so. 

Thus perished the good little boy who did the best he 
could, but didn't come out according to the books. 
Every boy who ever did as he did prospered except him. 
His case is truly remarkable. It will probably never be 
accounted for. 

Note. — This nitro-glycerme suggestion is borrowed from a float- 
ing newspaper item — author unknown. 



-D a 



THE DANGER OF LYING IN BED. 

The man in the ticket-office said, " Hâve an accident- 
insurance ticket, also ? *' 

" No," I said, after studying the matter over a lîttle. 
"No, I believe not; I am going to be travelling by rail 
ail day to-day. However, to-morrow I don't travcL 
Give me one for to-morrow." 

The man looked puzzled. He said — 

" But it is for accident insurance, and if you are going 
to travel by rail " 

" If I am going to travel by rail I shan't need it 
Lying at home in bed is the thing / am afraid of." 

I had been looking into this matter. Last year I 
travelled twenty thousand miles, almost entirely by rail ; 
the year before, I travelled over twenty-five thousand 
miles, half by sea and half by rail ; and the year before 
that I travelled in the neighbourhood of ten thousand 
miles, exclusively by rail. I suppose, if I put in ail the 
little odd joumeys hère and there, I may say I hâve 
travelled sixty thousand miles during the three years I 
hâve mentioned, and never an accident. 

For a good while I said to myself every moming, 
" Now, I hâve escaped thus far, and so the chances are 
just that much increased that I shall catch it this time. 



THE DANGER OF LYJNG IN BED. 53 

I will be shrewd, and buy an accident ticket." And to a 
dead moral certainty I drew a blank, and went to bed 
that night without a joint started or a bone splintered. 
I got tired of that sort of daily bother, and fell to buying 
accident tickets that were good for a month. I said to 
myself, " A man carût buy thirty blanks in one bundle.*' 

But I was mistaken. There was never a prize in the 
loL I could read of railway accidents every day — the 
newspaper atmosphère was foggy with them ; but some- 
how they never came my way. I found I had spent a 
good deal of money in the accident business, and had 
nothing to show for it. My suspicions were aroused, and 
I began to hunt around for somebody that had won in 
this lottery. I found plenty of people who had invested, 
but not an individual that had ever had an accident or 
made a cent I stopped buying accident tickets and 
went to ciphering. The resuit was astounding. The 

PERIL LAY NOT IN TRAVELLING, BUT IN STAYING AT 
HOME. 

I hunted up statistics, and was amazed to find that, 
after ail the glaring newspaper headings conceming rail- 
road disasters, less than three hundred people had really 
lost their lives by those disasters in the preceding twelve 
months. The Erie road was set down as the most mur- 
derous in the list. It had killed forty-sîx — or twenty-six, 
I do not exactly remember which, but I know the 
number was double that of any other road. But the fact 
straightway suggested itself that the Erie was an im- 
mensely long road, and did more business than any other 
Une in the country ; so the double number of killed 
ceased to be matter for surprise. 



54 MARK TWAIISrS SKETCHES. 

By further figuring it appeared, that between New 
York and Rochester the Erie ran eight passenger-trains 
each way every day — sixteen altogether, and carried a 
daily average of 6000 persons. That is about a million 
in six months — the population of New York city. Well, 
the Erie kills from thirteen to twenty-three persons out 
of its million in six months ; and in the same time 13,000 
of New York's million die in their beds ! My flesh crept, 
my hair stood on end. " This is appalling ! " I said. 
" The danger isn't in travelling by rail, but in trusting 
to those deadly beds. I will never sleep in a bed 
again.*' 

I had figured on considerably less than one-half the 
length of the Erie road. It was plain that the entire 
road must transport at least eleven or twelve thpusand 
people every day. There are many short roads running 
out of Boston that do fuUy half as much ; a great many 
such roîads. There are many roads scattered about the 
Union that do a prodigious passenger business. There- 
fore it was fair to présume that an average of 2500 pas- 
sengers a day for each road in the country would be 
about correct There are 846 railway lines in onr 
country, and 846 times 2500 are 2,115,000. So the 
railways of America move more than two millions of 
people every day; six hundred and fifty milHons of 
people a year, without counting the Sundays. They do 
that, too, there is no question about it ; though where 
they get the raw material is clear beyond the jurisdiction 
of my arithmetic ; for I hâve hunted the census through 
and through, and I find that there are not that many 
people in the United States by a matter of six hundred 



THE DANGER OF LYING IN BED. 55 

and ten millions at the very least They must use some 
of the same people over again, likely. 

San Francisco is one-eighth as populous as New York ; 
there are 60 deaths a week in the former and 500 a week 
in the latter — if they hâve luck. That is, 3120 deaths a 
year in San Francisco, and eight times as many in New 
York — say about 25,000 or 26,000. The health of the 
two places is the same. So we will let ît stand as a fair 
presumption that this will hold good ail over the country, 
and that consequently 25,000 out of every million of 
people we hâve must die every year. That amounts to 
one-fortieth of our total population. One million of us, 
then, die annually. Out of this million ten or twelve 
thousand are stabbed, shot, drowned, hanged, poisoned, 
or meet a similarly violent death in some other popular 
way, such as perishing by kérosène lamp and hoop-skirt 
conflagrations, getting buried in coal-mines, falling oflf 
housetops, breaking through church or lecture-room 
floors, taking patent medicines, or committing suicide in 
other forms. The Erie railroad kills from 23 to 46 ; the 
other 845 railroads kill an average of one-third of a man 
each; and the rest of that million, amounting in the 
aggregate to the appalling figure of nine hundred and 
eighty-seven thousand six hundred and thirty-one corpses, 
die naturally in their beds ! 

You will excuse me from taking any more chances on 
those beds. The railroads are good enough for me. 

And my advice to ail people is, Don't stay at home 
any more than you can help ; but when you hâve got to 
stay at home a while, buy a packet of those insurance 
tickets and sit up nights. You cannot be too cautions. 



56 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

(One can see now why I answered that ticket agent 
in the manner recorded at the top of this sketch.) 

The moral of this composition is, that thoughtless 
people grumble more than is fair about railroad manage- 
ment in the United States. When we consider that 
every day and night of the year full fourteen thousand 
railway trains of varions kinds, freighted with Hfe and 
armed with death, go thundering over the land, the 
marvel is, not that they kill three hundred human beings 
in a twelvemonth, but that they do not kill three hundred 
times three hundred ! 



ABOUT BARBERS. 

All things change except barbers, the ways of barbers, 
and the surroundings of barbers. Thèse never change. 
What one expériences in a barber-shop the first time he 
enters one is what he always expériences in barber-shops 
afterwards till the end of his days. I got shaved this 
moming as usual. A man approached the door from 
Jones Street as I approached it from Main — a thing that 
always happens. I hurried up, but it was of no use ; he 
entered the door one little step ahead of me, and I 
followed in on his heels and saw him take the only vacant 
chair, the one presided over by the best barber. It 
always happens so. I sat down, hoping that I might 
fall heir to the chair belonging to the better of the 
remaining two barbers, for he had already begun combing 
his man's hair, while his comrade was not yet quite done 
rubbing up and oiling his customer*s locks. I watched 
the probabilities with strong interest. When I saw 
that No. 2 was gaining on No. i my interest grew to 
solidtude. When No. i stopped a moment to make 
change on a bath ticket for a new-comer, and lost ground 
in the race, my solicitude rose to anxiety. Wl\çi\.\^o, ^ 
caught up again, and both he and Yiis eoxax^àfc ^^x^ 



58 MARK TWAIISPS SKETCHES. 

puUing the towels away and brushing the powder from 
their customers' cheeks, and it was about an even thing 
which one would say "Next!" first, my very breath 
stood still with the suspense. But when at the final 
culminating moment No. i stopped to pass a comb a 
couple of times through his customer's eyebrows, I saw 
that he had lost the race by a single instant, and I rose 
indignant and quitted the shop, to keep from falling 
into the hands of No. 2 ; for I hâve none of that 
enviable firmness that enables a man to look calmly into 
the eyes of a waiting barber and tell him he will wait 
for his fellow-barber*s chair. 

I stayed out fifteen minutes, and then went back, 
hoping for better luck. Of course ail the chairs were 
occupied now, and four men sat waiting, silent, irnsoci- 
able, distraught, and looking bored, as men always do 
who are awaiting their tum in a barber's shop. I sat 
down in one of the iron-armed compartments of an old 
sofa, and put in the time for a while, reading the firamed 
advertisements of ail sorts of quack nostrums for dyeing 
and colouring the hair. Then I read the greasy names 
on the private bay rum bottles; read the names and 
noted the numbers on the private shaving cups in the 
pigeon-holes ; studied the stained and damaged cheap 
prints on the walls, of battles, early Présidents, and 
voluptuous recumbent sultanas, and the tiresome and 
everlasting young girl putting her grandfather's spectacles 
on ; execrated in my heart the cheerful canary and the 
distracting parrot that few barber-shops are without. 
Finally, I searched out the least dilapidated of last year's 
illustrated papers that littered the foui centre-table, and 



ABOUT BARBERS., 59 

conned their unjustifiable misrepresentations of old for- 
gotten events. 

At last my tum came. A voice said " Next ! " and I 
surrendered to — No. 2, of course. It always happens 
so. I said meekly that I was in a hurry, and it affected 
him as strongly as if he had never heard it. He shoved 
up my head, and put a napkin under it. He ploughed 
his fingers into my collai and fixed a towel there. He 
explored my hair with his claws and suggested that it 
needed trimming. I said I did not want it trimmed. 
He explored again and said it was pretty long for the 
présent style — ^better hâve a little taken ofF; it needed 
it behind especially. I said I had had it eut only a 
week before. He yeamed over it reflectively a moment, 
and then asked, with a disparaging manner, who eut it ? 
I came back at him promptly with a " You did ! " I 
had him there. Then he fell to stirring up his lather 
and regarding himself in the glass, stopping now and 
then to get close and examine his chin chtically or 
torture a pimple. Then he lathered one side of my 
face thoroughly, and was about to lather the other, when 
a dog-fight attracted his attention, and he ran to the 
window and stayed â.nd saw it out, losing two shillings 
on the resuit in bets with the other barbers, a thing 
which gave me great satisfaction. He finished lathering, 
meantime getting the brush into my mouth only twice, 
and then began to rub in the suds with his hand ] and 
as he now had his head turned, discussing the dog-fight 
with the other barbers, he natiurally shovelled considér- 
able lather into my mouth without knowing it, but I did. 

He now began to sharpen his razor on an old sus- 



6o MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

pender, and was delayed a good deal on account of a 
controversy about a cheap masquerade bail he had 
figured at the night before, in red cambric and bogus 
ermine, as some kind of a king. He was so gratified 
with being chaffed about some damsel whom he had 
smitten with his charms that he used every means to 
continue the controversy by pretending to be annoyed 
at the chaffings of his fellows. This matter begot more 
surveyings of himself in the glass, and he put down his 
razor and brushed his hair with elaborate care, plastering 
an inverted arch of it down on his forehead, accom- 
plishing an accurate "part" behind, and brushing the 
two wings forward over his ears with nice exactness. In 
the mean time the lather was drying on my face, and 
apparently eating into my vitals. 

Now he began to shave, digging his fingers into my 
countenance to stretch the skin, making a handle of my 
nose now and then, bundling and tumbling my head 
this way and that as convenience in shaving demanded, 
and "hawking" and expectorating pleasantly ail the 
while. As long as he was on the tough sides of my 
face I did not suffer ; but when he began to rake, and 
rip, and tug at my chin, the tears came. I did not 
mind his getting so close down to me ; I did not mind 
his garlic, because ail barbers eat garlic, I suppose ; but 
there was an added something that made -me fear that 
he was decaying inwardly while still alive, and this gave 
me much concem. He now put his finger into my 
mouth to assist him in shaving the corners of my upper 
lip, and it was by this bit of circumstantial évidence 
that I discovered that a part of his duties in the shop 



ABOUT BARBERS. 6i 

was to clean the kérosène lamps. I had often wondered 
in an indolent way whether the barbers did that, or 
whether it was the boss. 

About this time I was amusing myself trying to guess 

where he would be most likely to eut me this time, but he 

got ahead of me, and sliced me on the end of the chin 

before I had got my mind made up. He immediately 

sharpened his razor — he might hâve done it before. I 

do not like a close shave, and would not let him go over 

me a second time. I tried to get him to put up his 

razor, dreading that he would make for the side of my 

chin, my pet tender spot, a place which a razor cannot 

touch twice without making trouble ; but he said he only 

wanted to just smooth off one little roughness, and in 

that same moment he slipped his razor alpng the for- 

bidden ground, and the dreaded pimple-signs of a close 

shave rose up smarting and answered to the call. Now 

he soaked his towel in bay mm, and slapped it ail over 

my face nastily ; slapped it over as if a» human being 

ever yet washed his face in that way. Then he dried it 

by slapping with the dry part of the towel, as if a human 

being ever dried his face in such a fashion ; but a barber 

seldom rubs you like a Christian. Next he poked bay 

rum into the eut place with his towel, then choked the 

wound with powdered starch, then soaked it with bay 

rum again, and would hâve gone on soaking and pow- 

dering it for evermore, no doubt, if I had not rebelled 

and begged ofF. He powdered my whole face now, 

straightened me up, and began to plough my hair 

thoughtfully with his hands and examine his ^tv^'et'î» cxv- 

tically. Then he suggested a slciaroçoo, ^xv^ ^^^ ^ks?^ 



62 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

hair needed it badly, very badly. I observed that I 
shampooed it myself very thoroughly in the bath yester- 
day. I " had him " again. He next recommended some 
of "Smith's Hair Glorifier," and offered to sell me a 
bottle, I declined. He praised the new perfume, 
" Jones*s Delight of the Toilet," and proposed to sell 
me some of that. I declined again. He tendered me 
a tooth-wash atrocity of his own invention, and when I 
declined offered to trade knives with me. 

He retumed to business after the miscarriage of this 
last enterprise, sprinkled me ail over, legs and ail, 
greased my hair in défiance of my protests against it, 
rubbed and scrubbed a good deal of it out by the roots, 
and combed and brushed the rest, parting it behind and 
plastering the etemal inverted arch of hair down on my 
forehead, and then, while combing my scant eyebrows 
and defiling them with pomade, strung out an account 
of the achievements of a six-ounce black and tan terrier 
of his till I heard the whistles blow for noon, and knew 
I was five minutes too late for the train. Then he 
snatched away the towel, brushed it lightly about my 
face, passed his comb through my eyebrows once more, 
and gaily sang out " Next V\ 

This barber fell down and died of apoplexy two hours 
later. I am waiting over a day for my revenge — I am 
going to attend his funeral. 



HUMAN NATURE. 

There are some natures which never grow large 
enough to speak out, and say a bad act is a bad act, 
untîl they hâve înquired înto the politics or the nationality 
of the man who did it. And they are not really scarce, 
eîther. Cam îs branded a murderer so heartîly and 
unanimously in America only because he was neither a 
Democrat nor a Republican. The Feejee Islander's 
abuse of Gain ceased very suddenly when the white man 
mentioned casually that Gain was a Feejee Islander. 

The next remark of the savage, after an awkward 
pause, was, " Well, what did Abel come fooling around 
there for?" 



JOHNNY GREER'S WAY. 

" The church was densely crowded that lovely summer 
Sabbath," said the Sunday-school superintendent, ** and 
ail, as their eyes rested upon the small coffin, seemed im- 
pressed by the poor black boy's fate. Above the stillness 
the pastor's voice rose, and chained the interest of every 
year as he told, with many an envied compliment, how 
that the brave, noble, daring little Johnny Gréer, when he 
saw the drowned body sweeping down toward the deep 
part of the river whence the agonised parents never could 
hâve recovered it in this world, gallantly sprang into the 
stream, and at the risk of his life towed the corpse to 
shore, and held it fast till help came and secured it. 
Johnny Gréer was sitting just in front of me. A ragged 
Street boy, with eager eye, tumed upon him instantly, and 
said in a hoarse whisper : 

" ' No, but did you though ? * 

" * Yes.' 

" * Towed the carkiss ashore and saved it yo'self ? * 

** ' Yes.' 

" * Cracky ! What did they give you ? ' 

*' ' Nothing.' 

" * W-h-a-t ! [with intense disgust] D' you know what 
l'd a done ? l'd a anchored him out in the stream, and 
said, jFive dollars^ g^tSy or you carrât hâve yd niggery 



BREAKING IT GENTLY. 

" Yes, I remember that anecdote," the Sunday school 
superintendent said, with the old pathos in his voice, and 
the old sad look in his eyes. " It was about a simple 
créature named Higgins, that used to haul rock for old 
Maltby. When the lamented Judge Bagley tripped and 
fell down the court-house stairs and broke his neck, it 
was a great question how to break the news to poor Mrs. 
Bagley. But finally the body was put into Hîggins*s 
waggon, and he was instructed to take it to Mrs. B., but 
to be very guarded and discreet in his language, and not 
break the news to her at once, but do it gradually 
and gently. When Higgins got there with his sad 
freight, he shouted till Mrs. Bagley came to the 
door. 

Then he said, " Does the widder Bagley live 
hère ? " 

" The widow Bagley ? No^ sir ! " 

" l'U bet she does. But hâve it your own way. Well, 
ùots Judge Bagley live hère ? " 

" Yes, Judge Bagley lives hère." 

" l'U bet he don't But ne ver mind, it ain't for me to 
contradict Is the Judge in ? " 

" No, not at présent'^ 



66 MARK TWAIlsrS SKETCHES. 

" I jest expected as much. Because, you know— take 
hold o' suthin, mum, for I*m a-going to make a little com- 
munication, and I reckon maybe it'U jar you some. 
There's been an accident, mum. IVe got the old Judge 
curled up out hère in the waggon, and when you see 
him you'U acknowledge yourself that an inquest is about 
the only thing that could be a comfort to him /" 



THE JUDGE'S " SPIRITED WOMAN." 

" I WAS sitting hère," said the Judge, " in this old 
pulpit, holding court, and we were trying a big, wicked- 
looking Spanish desperado for killing the husband of a 
bright pretty Mexican woman. It was a lazy summer 
day, and an awfuUy long one, and the witnesses were 
tedious. None of us took any interest in the trial except 
that nervous uneasy devil of a Mexican woman — ^because 
you know how they love and how they hâte, and this one 
had loved her husband with ail her might, and now she 
had boiled it ail down into hâte, and stood hère spitting 
it at that Spaniard with her eyes; and I tell you she 
would stir me up, too, with a little of her summer light- 
ning occasionally. Well, I had my coat off and my heels 
up, lolling and sweating, and smoking one of those cab- 
bage cigars the San Francisco people used to think were 
good enough for us in those times ; and the lawyers they 
ail had their coats off, and were smoking and whittling, 
and the witnesses the same, and so was the prisoner. 
Well, the fact is, there wam*t any interest in a murder 
trial then, because the fellowwas always brought in **not 
guilty," the jury expecting him to do as much for them 
some time ; and, although the évidence was straight and 
square against this Spaniard, we knew we could not con- 
vict him without seeming to be laXVvtt \C\^^^xA^^ ^2^^ 
sort of reBecting on every gentVemaii vcv >3ci^ corcKss>».xs^ \ 

^ 1» 



68 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES, 

for there warn't any carnages and liveries then, and so 
the only * style' there was, was to keep your private 
graveyard. But that woman seemed to hâve her heart 
set on hangîng that Spaniard ; and you'd ought to hâve 
seen how she would glare on him a minute, and then 
look up at me in her pleading way, and then tum and 
for the next five minutes search the jury's faces, and by- 
and-by drop her face in her hands for just a little while 
as if §he was most ready to give up, but out she'd come 
again directly and be as live and anxious as ever. But 
when the jury announced the verdict — Not Guilty, and I 
told the prisoner he was acquitted and free to* go, that 
woman rose up till she appeared to be as tall and grand 
as a seventy-four-gun ship, and says she — 

" * Judge, do I understand you to say that this man is 
not guilty, that murdered my husband without any cause 
before my own eyes and my litde children's, and that ail 
has been done to him that ever justice and the law 
can do ? ' 

" The same,' says I. 

" And then what do you reckon she did ? Why, she 
turned on that smirking Spanish fool like a wild cat, 
and out with a *navy* and shot him dead in open 
court ! " 

" That was spirited, I am willing to admit'* 

" Wasn't it, though ? " said the Judge, admiringly. " I 
wouldn't hâve missed it for anything. I adjoumed court 
right on the spot, and we put on our coats and went out 
and took up a collection for her and her cubs, and sent 
them over the mountains to their friends. Ah, she was a 
spirited wench ! '* 



MY LATE SENATORIAL 
SECRETARYSHIP. 

I AM not a private secretary to a senator any more, 
now. I held the berth two months in security and in 
great cheerfulness of spirit, but my bread began to retum 
from over the waters, then — that is to say, my works 
came back and revealed themselves. I judged it best to 
resign. The way of it was this. My employer sent for 
me one moming tolerably early, and, as soon as I had 
finished inserting some conundrums dandestinely into 
his last great speech upon finance, I entered the présence. 
There was something portentous in his appearance. His 
cravat was untied, his hair was in a state of disorder, and 
his countenance bore about it the signs of a suppressed 
storm. He held a package of letters in his tense grasp, 
and I knew that the dreaded Pacific mail was in. He 
said — 

" I thought you were worthy of confidence." 

I said, " Yes, sir.'* 

He said, " I gave you a letter fi*om certain of my con- 
stituents in the State of Nevada, asking the establishment 
of a post-office at Baldwin's Ranch, and told ^^^ \35k 
answer it, as ingeniously as you covAôi, m>Ccs. ^x^gfsssNKc^îs* 



70 MARK TIVAIN'S SKETCHES. 

which should persuade them that there was no real 

necessity for an office at that place." 

I felt easier. " Oh, if that is ail, sir, I did do that" 
" Yes, you did. I will read your answer, for your own 

humiliation : 

" Washington, Nov. 24. 
** ^ Messrs, Smith, Jones, andotlurs, 

" 'Gentlemen : What the mischief do you suppose you want 
with a post-office at Baldwin's Ranch ? It would not do you any 
good. If any letteis came there, you couldn't read them, youknow; 
and, besides, such letters as ought to pass througb, with money in 
them, for other localities, would not be likely to gd through, you 
must perceive at once ; and that would make tiouble for us alL No» 
don't bother about a post-office in your camp. I hâve your best 
interests at heart, and feel that it would only be an omamental folly. 
What you want is a nice jail, you know— a nice, substantial jail and 
a free school. Thèse will be a lasting benefit to you. Thèse will 
make you really contented and happy. ï will move in the matter at 
once. 

" * Very truly, etc., 

** * Mark Twain, 
" * For James W. N*», U. S. Senator.» 

"That is the way you answered that letter. Those 
people say they will hang me, if I ever enter that district 
agaîn ; and I am perfectly satisfied they wUly too." 

" Well, sir, I did not know I was doing any harm. I 
only wanted to convince them." 

" Ah. Well, you did convince them, I make no manner 
of doubt. Now, hère is another spécimen. I gave you 
a pétition from certain gentlemen of Nevada, praying 
that I would get a bill through Congress incorporating 
the Methodist Episcopal Church of the State of Nevada. 



MY LATE SENATORIAL SECRETARYSHIP. 71 

I told you to say, in reply, ihat the création of sùch a 
law came more properly within the province of the State 
Législature ; and to endeavour to show them that, in the 
présent feebleness of the religious élément in that new 
commonwealth, the expediency of incorporating the 
church was questionable. What did you write ? 

** * Washington, Noy. 24. 
" ^Rev, yohn Halifax and otkers, 

** * Gentlemen : You will hâve to go to the State Législature 
about that spéculation of yours— Congress don*t know anything 
about religion. But don't you hurry to go there, either ; because 
this thing you propose to do out in that new country isn't expédient 
— in fact, it is ridiculous. Your religious people there are too feeble, 
in intellect, in morality, in piety — ^in everything, pretty much. You 
had better drop this — you can't make it work. You can't issue 
stock on an incorporation like that — or if you could, it would only 
keep you in trouble ail the time. The other dénominations would 
abuse it, and "bear" it, and "sell it short," and break it down. 
They would do with it just as they would with one of your silver 
mines out there — they would try to make ail the world believe it was 
**wildcat." You ought not to do anything that is ealculated to 
bring a sacred thing into disrepute. You ought to be ashamed of 
yourselves — that is what / think about it You close your pétition 
with the words : " And we will ever pray." I think you had better 
— you need to do it. 

" * Very tnily, etc., 

•" *Mark Twain, 
For James W, N**, U. S. Senator.* 



(( ( 



" That luminous epistle finishes me with the religious 
élément among my constituents. But that my political 
murder might be made sure, some evil instinct prompted 
me to hand you this mémorial from the grave cotQx^«3K^^ 
of elders composing the Boatd oî Màernvea oi"^^ ^>fci ^^ 



i 



72 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

San Francisco, to try your hand upon — z. mémorial pray- 
ing that the city's right to the water-lots upon the city 
front might be established by law of Congress. I told 
you this was a dangerous matter to move in. I told you 
to Write a non-committal letter to the Aldermen — an am- 
biguous letter — a letter that should avoid, as far as pos- 
sible, ail real considération and discussion of the waterlot 
question. If there is any feeling left in you — any shame 
— surely this letter you wrote, in obédience to that order, 
ought to evoke it, when its words fall upon your ears : 

** 'Washington, Nov. 27. 
" * The Hon, Board of Aldermen, etc, 

** * Gentlemen : George Washington, the revered Father of his 
Country, is dead. His long and brilliant career is closed, alas ! for- 
ever. He was greatly respected in this section of the country, and 
his untimely decease cast a gloom over the whole community. He 
died on the I4th day of December, 1799. He passed peacefully 
away from the scène of his honours and his great achievements, the 
mostlamentedhero and the best beloved that ever earth hath yielded 
unto Death. At such a time as this, you speak of water-lots ! — what 
a lot was his ! 

** * What is famé ! Famé is an accident. Sir Isaac Newton dis- 
covered an apple falling to the ground — a trivial discovery, truly, 
and one which a million men had made before him — but his parents 
were influential, and so they tortured that small circumstance into 
something wonderful, and, lo ! the simple world took up the shout 
and, in almost the twinkling of an eye, that man was famous. Trea- 
sure thèse thoughts. 

" * Poesy, sweet poesy, who shall estimate what the world owes 
to thee t 

** Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow — 
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go," 



MY LATE SENATORIAL SECRETARYSHIP. 73 

" Jack and Gill went up the hill 
To draw a pail of water ; 
Jack fell down and broke his crown, 
And Gill came tumbling after." 

For simplicity, élégance of diction, and freedom from immoral ten- 
dencies, I regard those two poems in the light of gems. They are 
suited to ail grades of intelligence, to every sphère of life — to the 
iîeld, to the nursery, to the guild. Especially should no Board of 
Aldermen be without them. 

" 'Vénérable fossils! write again. Nothing improves one so 
much as friendly correspondence. Write again — and if there is any- 
thing in this mémorial of yours that refers to an3rthing in particular, 
do not be backward about explaining it. We shall always be happy 
to hear you chirp. 

" * Very truly, etc. 

" *Mark Twain, 

'* *ror James W. N**, U. S. Senator.' 

" That is an atrocious, a ruinous epistle ! Distraction !" 
" Well, sjr, I am really sorry if there is anything wrong 
about it — but — but — it appears to me to dodge the water- 
lot question.** 

"Dodge the mischief! Oh! — ^but never mind. As 
long as destruction must come now, let it be complète. 
Let it be complète — let this last of your performances, 
which I am about to read, make a finality of it. I am a 
ruined man. I had my misgivings when I gave you the 
letter from Humboldt, asking that the post route from 
Indian Gulch to Shakespeare Gap and intermediate 
points, be changed partly to the old Mormon trail. Buf 
I told you it was a délicate question, and wamed you to 
deal with it deftly — to answer it dubiously, atvd V^'^n^ 
them a little in the dark. Anà ^ovrt laXA Yc^^"a&^^ 



74 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES. 

irapelled you to make this disastrous reply. I should 
think you would stop your ears, if you are not dead to 
ail shame : 

** 'Washington, Nov. 30. 
** ^Messrs. Ferkins, Wagner ^ et ai. 

*** Gentlemen : It is a délicate question about this Indian 
trail, but, handled with proper deftness and dubiousness, I doubt 
not we shall succeed in some measure or otherwise, because the place 
where the route leaves the Lassen Meadows, over beyond where 
those two Shawnee chiefs, Dilapidated-Vengeance and Biter-of-the- 
Clouds, were scalped last winter, this being the favourite direction to 
some, but others preferring something else in conséquence of things, 
the Mormon trail leaving Mosby*s at three in the morning, and pass- 
ing through Jawbone Fiat to Blucher, and then down by Jug-Handie, 
the road passing to the right of it, and naturally leaving it on the 
right, too, and Dawson's on the left of the trail where it passes to 
the left of said Dawson's, and onward thence to Tomahawk, thus 
making the route cheaper, easier of access to ail who can get at it, 
and compassing ail the désirable objects so considered by others, 
and, therefore, conferring the most good upon the greatest number, 
and, consequently, I am encouraged to hope we shall. However, I 
shall be ready, and happy, to afford you still further information 
upon the subject, from time to time, as you may désire it and the 
Post-office Department be enabled to fumish it to me. 

** * Very truly, etc. 

" *Mark Twain, 
** * For James W. N**, U. S. Senator.» 

" There — now, what do you think of that ?" 
" Well, I don't know, sir. It — well, it appears to me 
7-to be dubious enough." 

" Du — ^leave the house ! I am a ruined man. Those 
Humboldt savages never will forgive me for tangling 
their brains up with this inhuman letter. I hâve lost the 



MY LATE SENATORIAL SECRETARYSHIP. 75 

respect of the Methodist Church, the Board of Alder- 
men " 

" Well, I haven*t anything to say about that, because I 
may hâve missed it a little in their cases, but I was too 
many for the Baldwin*s Ranch people, General ! " 

" Leave the house ! Leave it for ever and for ever, 
too I " 

I regarded that as a sort of covert intimation that my 
services could be dispensed with, and so I resigned. I 
never will be a private secretary to a senator again. 
You can't please that kind of people. They don*t knovv 
anything. They can't appreciate a party's efforts. 



THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF GEORGE 

FISHER, DECEASED. 

This is history. It is not a wild extravaganza, like 
"John Williamson Mackenzie's Great Beef Contract," 
but is a plain statement of facts and circumstances with 
which the Congress of the United States has interested 
itself from time to tirae during the long period of half a 
century. 

I will not call this matter of George Fisher's a great 
deathless and unrelenting swindle upon the Government 
and people of the United States — for it has never been so 
decided, and I hold that it is a grave and solemn wrong 
for a writer to cast slurs or call names when such is the 
case — ^but will . simply présent the évidence and let the 
reader deduce his own verdict. Then we shall do no- 
body injustice, and our consciences shall be clear. 

On or about the ist day of September, 1813, the Creek 
war being then in progress in Florida, the crops, herds, 
and houses of Mr. George Fisher, a citizen, were de- 
stroyed, either by the Indians or by the United States 
troops in pursuit of them. By the terms of the law, if the 
Indians destroyed the property, there was no relief for 
Fisher ; but if the troops destroyed it, the Government of 
the United States was debtor to Fisher for the amount 
jnvolveà. 



GEORGE FISHER, DECEASED 77 

George Fisher must hâve considered that the Indians 
destroyed the property, because, although he lived se- 
veral years afterward, he does not appear to hâve ever 
made any daim upon the Government. 

In the course of time Fisher died, and his widow mar- 
ried again. And by-and-by, nearly twenty years after 
that dimly remembered raid upon Fisher's comfields, the 
widow Fis/ier^s new husband petitioned Congress for pay 
for the property, and backed up the pétition ^vith many 
dépositions and affidavits which purported to prove that 
the troops, and not the Indians, destroyed the property ; 
that the troops, for some inscrutable reason, deliberately 
bumed down " houses " (or cabins) valued at $600, the 
same belonging to a peaceable private citizen, and also 
destroyed varions other property belonging to the same 
citizen. But Congress decHned to believe that the troops 
were such idiots (after overtaking and scattering a band 
of Indians proved to hâve been found destroying Fisher's 
property) as to calmly continue the work of destruction 
themselves and make a complète job of what the Indians 
had only commenced. So Congress denied the pétition 
of the heirs of George Fisher in 1832, and did not pay 
them a cent 

We hear no more from them officially until 1848, six- 
teen years after their first attempt on the Treasury, and a 
full génération after the death of the man whose fields 
were destroyed. The new génération of Fisher heirs 
then came forward and put in a bill for damages. The 
Second Auditor awarded them $8,873, being half the 
damage sustained by Fisher. The Auditoi ^^d \!cNfe \fô5s- 
limony showed that at least half t\ve d^stc\içXvo\i^^& ^^"^^ 



78 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

by the Indians ^^brfore the îroops started inpursuit^^ and 
of course the Government was not responsible for that 
half. 

2. That was in April, 1848. In December, 1848, the 
heirs of George Fisher, deceased, came forward and 
pleaded for a " revision " of their bill of damages. The 
revision was made, but nothing new could be found in 
their favour except an error of $100 in the former calcu- 
lation. However, in order to keep up the spirits of the 
Fisher family, the Auditor concluded to go back and 
allow interest from the date of the first pétition (1832) to 
the date when the bill of damages was awarded. This 
sent the Fishers home happy with sixteen years' interest 
on $8,873 — the same amounting to $8,99794. Total, 
$17,87094. 

3. For an entire year the suffering Fisher family 
remained quiet — even satisfied, after a fashion. Then 
they swooped down upon Government with their wrongs 
once more. That old patriot, Attomey-General Toucey, 
burrowed through the musty papers of the Fishers and 
discovered one more chance for the desolate orphans — 
interest on that original award of $8,873 from date of 
destruction of the property (1813) up to 1832 ! Resuit, 
$10,004 89 for the indigent Fishers. So now we hâve : 
First, $8,873 damages ; second, interest on it from 1832 
to 1848, $8,997 94; third, interest on it dated back to 
1813, $10,004 89. Total, $27,875 83 ! What better 
investment for a great-grandchild than to get the Indians 
to bum a comfield for him sixty or seventy years before 
his birth, and plausibly lay it on lunatic United States 
troops ? 



GEORGE FISHER, DECEASED. 79 

4. Strange as it may seem, the Fishers let Congress 
alone for five years — or, what is perhaps more likely, 
failed to make themselves heard by Congress for that 
length of time. But at last, in 1854, they got a hearing. 
They persuaded Congress to pass an act requiring the 
Auditor to re-examine their case. But this time they 
stumbled upon the misfortune of an honest Secretary of 
the Treasury (Mr. James Guthrie), and he spoiled every- 
thing. He said in very plain language that the Fishers 
were not only not entitled to anpther cent., but that those 
children of many sorrows and acquainted with grief had 
heen paid too much aiready. 

5. Therefore another interval of rest and silence en- 
sued— an interval which lasted four years, viz., till 1858. 
The " right man in the right place '* was then Secretary 
of War — ^John B. Floyd, of peculiar renown ! Hère was 
a master intellect; hère was the very man to succour 
the suflfering heirs of dead and forgotten Fisher. . They 
came up from Florida with a rush — a great tidal wave of 
Fishers freighted with the same old musty documents 
about the same immortal comfields of their ancestor. 
They straightway got an act passed transferring the 
Fisher matter from the dull Auditor to the ingenious 
Floyd. What did Floyd do ? He said " it was proved 
that the Indians destroyed everything they coidd before the 
troops entered in pur suit y He considered, therefore, that 
what they destroyed i^aust hâve consisted of " the houses 
with ail their contents^ and the liquor " (the most trifling 
part of the destruction, and set down at only $3,200 ail 
told), and that the Government troops then drove them 
oflf and calmly proceed to destroy — 



8o MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

Two hundred and iwenty acres of corn in thefiddy ihirty- 
fivc acres of wheat^ and nine hundred and eighty-six head of 
live stock! [What a singularly intelligent anny we had in 
those days, according to Mr. Floyd — though not accord- 
ing to the Congress of 1832.] 

So Mr. Floyd decided that the Government was not 
responsible for that $3,200 worth of rubbish which the 
Indians destroyed, but was responsible for the property 
destroyed by the troops — ^which property consisted of (1 
quote from the printed U. S. Senate document) — . 

Corn at Bassett's creek .... $3,ocx) 

Cattle 5,000 

Stock hogs 1,050 

Drove hogs 1,204 

Wheat . 350 

Hides 4,000 

Corn on the Alabama river . . . 3,500 

Total . . . $18,104 

That sum, in his report, Mr. Floyd calls the "///// 
value of the property destroyed by the troops." He 
allows that sum to the starving Fishers, together with 
INTEREST FROM 1813. From this new sum total the 
amounts already paid to the Fishers were deducted, and 
then the cheerflil remainder (a fraction under forty thou- 
s and dollars) was handed to them, and again they retired 
to Florida in a condition of temporary tranquillity. 
Their ancestor's farm had now yielded them, altogether, 
nearly sixty-seven thousand dollars in cash. 

6. Does the reader suppose that that was the end of 
it? Does he suppose those diffident Fishers were 



GEORGE FISHER, DECEAJSED. 8i 

satisfied? Let the évidence show. The Fishers were 
quiet just two years. Then they came swarming up out 
of the fertile swamps of Florida with their same old 
documents, and besieged Congress once more. Con- 
. gress capitulated on the firstof June, 1860, and instructed 
Mr. Floyd to overhaul those papers again and pay that 
bill. A Treasury clerk was ordered to go through those 
papers and report to Mr. Floyd what amount was stiU 
âue the emaciated Fishers. This clerk (I can produce 
him whenever he is wanted) discovered what was appa- 
rently a glaring and récent forgery in the papers, whereby 
a witness's testimony as to the price of corn in Florida 
in 18 13 was made to name double the amount which 
that witness had originally specified as the price ! The 
clerk not only called his superior's attention to this 
thing, but in making up his brief of the case called par- 
ticular attention to it in writing. That part of the brief 
never got before Congress^ nor has Congress ever yet had 
a hint of a forgery existing among the Fisher papers. 
Nevertheless, on the basis of the doubled prices (and 
totally ignoring the clerk*s assertion that the figures were 
manifestly and unquestionably a récent forgery), Mr. 
Floyd remarks in his new report that "the testimony, 
particuîarly in regard to the corn crops^ demands a much 
HiGHER ALLOWANCE than any heretofore made by the 
Auditor or myself." So he estimâtes the crop at sixty 
bushels to the acre (double what Florida acres produce), 
and then virtuously allows pay for only half the crop, 
but allows two dollars and a half a bushel for that half, 
when there are rusty old books and documents in the 
Gongressional library to show just what the Fisher tes- 



82 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

timony showed before the forgety, viz. : that in thé fall 
of 1813 corn was only worth from %t 25 to $ï 50 a' 
bushel. Having accomplished this, what does Mr. Floyd 
do next? Mr. Floyd ("with an eamest désire tô exécute 
truly the législative will," as he piously remarks) goes to 
work and makes out an entirely new bill of Fisher 
damages, and in this new bill he placidly ignores the 
Indians altogether — puts no particle of the destructior^ 
of the Fisher property upon them, but, even repènting 
him of charging them with buming the cabins and 
drinking the whiskey and breâking the crockery, lays 
the entire damage at the door of the imbécile United 
States troops, down to the very last item ! And not 
only that, but uses the forgery to double the loss of corn 
at " Bassett's creek," and uses it agâin to absolutely 
treble the loss of corn on the " Alàbama river." This 
new and ably conceived and executed bill of Mr. Floyd's 
figures up as foUows (I copy again from the printed U. S. 
Senate document) : 

The United States in account with the légal représentatives of 
George Fisher^ deceased» 

1813. — To 550 head of cattle, at $10 . . $5,500 00 
To 86 head of drove hogé . . 1,20400 

To 350 head of stock hogs ; . . 1,75000 

To 100 ACRES OF CORN ON BaSSETT's 

CREEK 6,00000 

To 8 barrels of whiskey . . . , 350 00 

To 2 barrels of brandy .... 280 00 

To I barrclofrum 70 00 

To dry goods and merchandise in store . i, 100 00 

Carry forward $16,254 00 



GEORGE FISHERy DECEASED. 83 

Brought forward $16,254 00 

To 35 acres of wheat . ... 350 00 

To î?,ooo hides . . . . . 4,00000 

Tofurs and hats in store . . . . 600 00 

To crockery ware in store . . . lOO 00 

71? smiths^ and carpenters^ tools . . 250 00 

To houses burned and destroyed . . 60000 

To 4 dozen bottles ofwine . . . . 48 00 

1814. — To 120 acres of corn on Alabama river . 9,500 00 

To crops of peas, fodder, etc. . . . 3f 250 00 



Total .... $341952 00 
To interest on $22,202, from July, 1813 
to November, 1860, 47 years and 
4months ..... 63,05368 
To interest on $12,750, from Septem- 
ber, 18 14, to November, 1860, 46 
years and 2 months . . . 3S»3I7 5^ 

Total . . .$I33»323 18 



He puts everything in, this time. He does not even 
allow that the Indians destroyed the crockery or drank 
the four dozen bottles of (currant) wine. When it came 
to supernatural comprehensivehess in " gobbling," John 
R Floyd was without his equal, in his own or any 
other génération. Subtracting from the above total the 
$67,000 alreadypaid to George Fisher's implacable heirs, 
Mr. Floyd announced that the Government was still 
indebted to them in the sum of sixty-six thottsand five 
hundred and nineteen dollars and eighijhfive centSy "which,*' 
Mr. Floyd complacently remarks, " will be paid, accord- 
ingly, to the administrator of the estate of George Fisher, 
deceasedy or to his attomey in Êu:t" 



84 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

But, sadly enough for the destitute orphans, a new 
Président came in just at this time, Buchanan and Floyd 
went out, and they never got their money. The first 
thing Congress did in 1861 was to rescind the resolution 
of June I, 1860, underwhich Mr. Floyd had been cipher- 
ing. Then Floyd (and doubtless the heirs of George 
Fisher likewise) had to give up financial business for a 
while, and go into the Confederate army and serve their 
country. 

Were the heirs of George Fisher killed ? No. They ^ 
are back now at this very time (July, 1870), beseeching 
Congress, through that blushing and diffident créature, 
Garrett Davis, to commence making payments again on 
their interminable and insatiable bill of damages for 
corn and whiskey destroyed by a gang of irresponsible 
Indians, so long ago that even Government red-tape has 
failed to keep consistent and intelligent track of it 

Now, the above are facts. They are history. Any 
one who doubts it can send to the Senate Document 
Department of the Capitol for H. R. Ex. Doc No. 21, 
36th Congress, 2nd Session, and for S. Ex. Doc. No. 106, 
4ist Congress, 2nd Session, and satisfy himself. The 
whole case is set forth in the first volume of the Court 
of Claims Reports. 

It is my belief that as long as the continent of America 
holds together, the heirs of George Fisher, deceased, 
will still make pilgrimages to Washington from the 
swamps of Florida, to plead for just a littie more cash 
on their bill of damages (even when they received the 
last of that sixty-seven thousand dollars, they said it was 
only one-fourth what the Government owed them on that 



GEORGE FISHER, DECEASED. 85 

fruitful com-field), and as long as they choose to come, 
they will find Garrett Davises to drag theîr vampire 
schémas before Congress. This is not the only hereditary 
fraud (if fraud it is — ^which I hâve before repeatedly 
remarked is not proven) that is being quietly handed 
down from génération to génération of fathers and sons, 
through the persecuted Treasury of the United States. 



THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF THE 
GREAT BEEF CONTRACT. 

In as few words as possible I wish to lay before the 
nation what share, howsoever small, I hâve had in this 
matter — this matter which has so exercised the public 
mind, engendered so much ill-feeling, and so filled the 
newspapers of both continents with distorted statements 
and extravagant comments. 

The origin of this distressflil thing was this — and I 
assert hère that every fact in the following résumé can be 
amply proved by the officiai records of the General 
Government : — 

John Wilson Mackenzie, of Rotterdam, Chemung 
county, New Jersey, deceased, contracted with the 
General Government, on or about the loth day of 
October, 1861, to fumish to General Sherman the sum 
total of thirty barrels of beef. 

Very well. 

He started after Sherman with the beef, but when he 
got to Washington Sherman had gone to Manassas ; so 
he took the beef and followed him there, but arrived too 
late ; he followed him to Nashville, and from Nashville 
to Chattanooga, and from Chattanooga to Atlanta — ^but 
he never could overtake him. At Atlanta he took a 



THE GREAT BEEF CONTRACT. 87 

fresh start and foUowed him clear through his march 
to the sea. He arrived too late again by a few days ; 
but hearing that Sherman was going out in the Quaker 
City excursion to the Holy Land, he took shipping 
for Beirut, calculating to head ofF the other vessel. 
When he arrived in Jérusalem with his beef, he leamed 
that Sherman had not sailed in the Quaker City, 
but had gone to the Plains to fight the Indians. 
He retumed to America, and started for the Rocky 
Mountains. After sixty-eight days of arduous travel 
on the Plains, and when he had got within four 
miles of Sherman 's head-quarters, he was tomahawked 
and scalped, and the Indians got the beef. They got ail 
of it but one barrel. Shçrman's army captured that, and 
so, even in death, the bold navigator partly fulfiUed his 
contract In his will, which he had kept like a journal, 
he bequeathed the contract to his son Bartholomew W. 
Bartholomew W. made out the foUowing bill, and then 
died : — 

The United States 

In account with ]ouii Wilson Mackenzie, 

of New Jersey, deceased . . . Dr. 
To thirty barrels of beef for General Sherman, 

@ $100 $3,000 

To travelling expenses and transportation . . 14,000 

Total . . . ,$i7jOOO 
Rec'd Pay't. 

He died then ; but he left the contract to Wm. 
J. Msirtin, who tried to coUect it, but died before he got 
through. He left it to Bjirker J. Allen, and he tried to 
collect it 5l1so. He did not survive. Barker J. Allen 



88 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

left it to Anson G. Rogers, who attempted to collect it, 
and got along as far as the Ninth Auditor's Office, when 
Death, the great Leveller, came ail unsummoned, and 
foreclosed on him also. He left the bill to a relative of 
his in Connecticut, Vengeance Hopkins by name, who 
lasted four weeks and two days, and made the best time 
on record, coming within one of reaching the Twelfth 
Auditor. In his will he gave the contract bill to his 
uncle, by the name of 0-be-joyful Johnson. It was too 
undermining for Joyful. His last words were : " Weep not 
for me — I am willing to go/* And so he was, poor soûl. 
Seven people inherited the contract after that ; but they 
ail died. So it came into my hands at last. It fell to 
me through a relative by the name of Hubbard — Beth- 
lehem Hubbard, of Indiana. He had had a grudge 
against me for a long time ; but in his last moments he 
sent for me, and forgave me everything, and, weeping, 
gave me the beef contract. 

This ends the history of it up to the time that I suc- 
ceeded to the property. I will now endeavour to set 
myself straight before the nation in everything that con- 
cems my share in the matter. I took this beef contract, 
and the bill for mileage and transportation, to the Prési- 
dent of the United States. 

He said, " Well, sir, what can I do for you ? '* 

I said, " Sire, on or about the loth day of October, 
1861, John Wilson Mackenzie, of Rotterdam, Chemung 
county, New Jersey, deceased, contracted with the 
General Government to fumish to General Sherman the 
sum total ofthirty barrels of beef " 

He stopped me there, and dismissed me from his 



THE GREAT BEE F CONTRA CT 89 

présence — kindly, but firmly. The next day I called on 
the Secretary of State. 
• He said, " Well, sir ? " 

I said, " Your Royal Highness : on or about the loth 
day of October, 1861, John Wilson Mackenzie, of Rot- 
terdam, Chemung county, New Jersey, deceased, con- 
tracted with the General Government to fumish to 
General Sherman the sum total of thirty barrels of 
beef " 

" That will do, sir — that will do j this office has nothing 
to do with contracts for beef." 

I was bowed out I thought the matter ail over, and 
v-finally, the following day, I visited the Secretary of the 
Navy, who said, " Speak quickly, sir ; do not keep me 
^aiting." 

I said, " Yonr Royal Highness, on or about the loth 
day of October, 1861, John Wilson Mackenzie, of Rot- 
terdam, Chemung county, New Jersey, deceased, con- 
tracted with the General Government to fumish to 
General Sherman the sum total of thirty barrels of 
beef '' 

Well, it was as far as I could get. He had nothing 
to do with beef contracts for General Sherman either. I 
began to think it was a curions kind of a Government 
It looks somewhat as if they wanted to get out of paying 
for that beef. The following day I went to the Secretary 
of the Interior. 

I said, " Your Impérial Highness, on or about the loth 
day of October " 

" That is sufficient, sir. I hâve heard of you before. 
Go, take your infamous beef contract oui: of this estab- 



90 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

lishment The Interior Department has nothing what- 
ever to do with subsistence for the army." 

I went away. But I was exasperated now. I said I 
would haunt them ; I would infest every department of 
this iniquitous Govemment till that contract business was 
settled. I would coUect that bill, or fall, as fell my pre- 
decessors, tiying. I assailed the Postmaster-General ; I 
besieged the Agricultural Department] I waylaid the 
Speaker of the House of Représentatives. T/uy had 
nothing to do with army contracts for beef. I moved 
upon the Commissioner of the Patent Office. 

I said, " Your August Excellency, on or about " 

" Perdition I hâve you got hère with your incendiary 
beef contract, at last ? We hâve nothing to do with beef 
contracts for the army, my dear sir.*' 

" Oh, that is ail very well — but somehody has got to pay 
for that beef. It has got to be paid now^ too, or l'U con- 
fiscate this old Patent Office and everything in it." 

" But, my dear sir ^^ 

" It don't make any différence, sir. The Patent Office 
is liable for that beef, I reckon ; and, liable or not liable, 
the Patent Office has got to pay for it" 

Never mind the détails. It ended in a fight. The 
Patent Office won. But I found out something to my 
advantage. I was told that the Treasury Department 
was the proper place for me to go to. I went there. I 
waited two hours and a half, and then I was admitted to 
the First Lord of the l'reasury. 

I said, " Most noble, grave, and révérend Signor, on 
or about the loth day of October, 1861, John Wilson 
Macken *' 



THE GREAT BEEF CONTRACT. 91 



a 



That is sufficient, sir. I hâve heard of you. Go to 
the First Auditor of the Treasury." 

I did so. He sent me to the Second Auditor. The 
Second Auditor sent me to the Third, and the Third sent 
me to the First ComptroUer of the Com-Beef Division. 
This began to look like business. He examined his 
books and ail his loose papers, but found no minute of 
the beef contract. I went to the Second ComptroUer of 
the Com-Beef Division. He examined his books and 
his loQse papers, but with no success. I was encouraged. 
During that week I got as far as the Sixth ComptroUer 
in that division ; the next week I got through the Claims 
Department ; the third week I began and completed the 
Mislaid Contracts Department, and got a foothold in the 
Dead Reckoning Department. I finished that in three 
days. There was only one place left for it now. I laid 
giege to the Commissioner of Odds and Ends. To his 
clerk, rather — he was not there himself There were 
sixteen beautiful young ladies in the room, writing in 
books, and there were seven well-favoured young clerks 
showing them how. The young women smiled up over 
their shoulders, and the clerks smiled back at them, and 
ail went merry as a marriage bell. Two or three clerks 
that were reading the newspapers looked at me rather 
hard, but went on reading, and nobody said anything. 
However, I had been used to this kind of alacrity from 
Fourth-Assistant-Junior Clerks ail through my eventful 
career, from the very day I entered the first office of the 
Com-Beef Bureau clear till I passed out of the last one 
in the Dead Reckoning Division. I had got so accom- 
plished by this time that I could stand otv oxvfe i^oX^'S^Sk. 



92 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

the moment I entered an office till a clerk spoke to me, 
without changing more than two, or maybe three times. 

So I stood there till I had changed four différent 
times. Then I said to one of the clerks who was 
reading — 

" Illustrions Vagrant, where is the Grand Turk ? " 

" What do you mean, sir ? whom do you mean ? If 
you mean the Chief of the Bureau, he is out/' 

" Will he visit the harem to-day ? " 

The young man glared upon me awhile, and then went 
on reading his paper. But I knew the ways of those 
clerks. I knew I was safe if he got through before 
another New York mail arrived. He only had two more 
papers left After awhile he finished them, and then he 
yawned and asked me what I wanted. 

"Renowned and honoured Imbécile : On or about " 

"You are the beef contract man. Give me your 
papers." 

He took them, and for a long time he ransacked his 
odds and ends. Finally he found the North-West Pas- 
sage, as / regarded it — he found the long-lost record of 
that beef contract — ^he found the rock upon which so 
many of my ancestors had split before they ever got to 
it. I was deeply moved. And yet I rejoiced — for I had 
survived. I said with émotion, " Give it me. The Go- 
vernment will settle now." He waved me back, and 
said there was something yet to be done first. 

" Where is this John Wilson Mackenzie ? " said he. 

" Dead." 

" When did he die ? " 

''He didn't die at ail— he was killed." 



THE GREAT BEEF CONTRACT 93 

* "How?" 

" Tomahawked." 

*' Who tomahawked him ? " 

" Why, an Indian, of course. You didn t suppose it 
was a superintendent of a Sunday school, did you ? " 

" No. An Indian, was it ? " 

" The same.'' 

" Name of the Indian ? " 

" His name ? / don't know his name/* 

^^ Must hâve his name. Who saw the tomahawking 
done?" 

" I don't know." 

" You were not présent yourself, then ? " 

" Which you can see by my hair. I was absent." 

" Then how do you know that Mackenzie is dead ? " 

" Because he certainly died at that time, and I hâve 
every reason to believe that he has been dead ever since. 
I know he has, in fact." 

" We must hâve proofs. Hâve you got the Indian ?" 

" Of course not." 

" Well, you must get him. Hâve you got the toma- 
hawk?" 

" I never thought of such a thing." 

** You must get the tomahawk. You must produce 
the Indian and the tomahawk. If Mackenzie's death 
can be proven by thèse, you can then go before the com- 
mission appointed to audit claims with some show of 
getting your bill under such headway that your children 
may possibly live to receive the money and enjoy it. 
But that man's death must be proven. How^v^x^lxssa.^ 
as well teHÏ you that the Govemmexil -wSV u^n^x ^^ '^^^ 



94 MARK TIVA/ATS SKETCHES. 

transportation and those travelling expenses of the la- 
mented Mackenzie. It may possibly pay for the barrel 
of beef that Sherman's soldiers captured, if you can get a 
relief bill through Congress making an appropriation for 
that purpose; but it will not pay for the twenty-nine 
barrels the Indians ate." 

** Then there is only a hundred dollars due me, and that 
isn't certain ! After ail Mackenzîe's travels in Europe, 
Asia, and America with that beef; after ail his trials and 
tribulations and transportation; after the slaughter of 
ail those innocents that tried to coUect that bill ! Young 
man, why didn't the First ComptroUer of the Com-Beef 
Division tell me this ? " 

" He didn't know anything about the genuineness of 
your claim." 

"Why didn't the Second tell me? why didn't the 
Third? why didn't ail those divisions and departments 
tell me ? '' 

" None of them knew. We do things by routine hère. 
You hâve foUowed the routine and found out what you 
wanted to know. It is the best way. It is the only way. 
It is very regular, and very slow, but it is very cer- 
tain." 

** Yes, certain death. It has been, to the most of our 
tribe. I begin to feel that I, too, am called. Young 
man, you love the bright créature yonder with the gentle 
blue eyes and the steel pens behind her ears — I see it in 
your soft glances ; you wish to marry her — ^but you are 
poor. Hère, hold out your hand — hère is the beef con- 
tract) go, take her and be happy ! Heaven bless you, 
njy chUdren !" 



THE GREAT BEEF CONTRA CT. 95 

This is ail I know about the great beef contract, that 
has created so much talk in the community. The clerk 
to whom I bequeathed it died. I know nothing further 
about the contract, or any one connected with it. I only 
know that if a man lives long enough he can trace a thing 
through the Circumlocution Office of Washington, and 
find out, after much labour and trouble and delay^ that 
which he could hâve found out on the first day if the 
business of the Circumlocution Office were as ingeniously 
systematized as it would be if it were a great private 
mercantile institution. 



THE POOR EDITOR. 

To be the editor of any kind of newspaper, either 
country or metropolitan (but very especially the former), 
is a position which must be trying to a good-natured 
man ! Because it makes him an object of charity whether 
or no. It makes him the object of a peculiar and 
humiliating, because an interested, charity — a charity 
thrust upon him with offensive assurance and a perfectly 
unconcealed taken-for-granted that it will be received 
with gratitude, and the donor accounted a benefactor ; 
and at the very same time the donor's chief motive, his 
vulgar self-interest, is left as frankly unconcealed. The 
country editor offers his s^dvertising space to the public 
at the trifle of one dollar and a half or two dollars a 
square, first insertion, and one would suppose his 
" patrons " would be satisfied with that. But they are 
not. They puzzle their thin brains to find out some 
still cheaper way of getting their wares celebrated^—some 
way whereby they can advertise virtually for nothing. 
They soon hit upon that meanest and shabbiest of ail 
contrivances for robbing a gentle-spirited scribbler, viz., 
the conferring upon hinj of a présent and begging a 
" notice " of it — thus pitifuUy endeavouring to not only 
invade his sacred editorial columns, but get ten dollars' 



THE POOR EDITOR. 97 

worth of advertising for fifty cents* worth of merchandise, 
and on top of that leave the poor créature burdened 
with a crushing debt of gratitude ! And so the cor- 
rupted editor, having once debauched his independence 
and received one of thèse contemptible présents, wavers 
a little while the remnant of his self-respect is consuming, 
and at last abandons himself to a career of shame, and 
prostitutes his columns to " notices " of every sort of 
présent that a stingy neighbour chooses to inflict upon 
him. The confectioner insults him with forty cents' 
worth of ice-cream — and he lavishes four " squares " of 
editorial compliments on him; the grocer insults him 
with a bunch of ôvergrown radishes and a dozen prize 
tumips — and gets an editorial paragraph perfectly putrid 
with gratitude ; the farmer insults him with three dollars' 
worth of peaches, or a beet like a man's leg, or a water- 
melon like a channel-buoy, or a cabbage in many respects 
like his own head, and expects a third of a column of 
exubérant imbecility — and gets it. And thèse trivial 
charities are not respectfuUy and gracefuUy tendered, but 
are thrust insolently upon the victim, and with an air 
that plainly shows that the victim will be held to a strict 
accountability in the next issue of his paper. 

I am not an editor of a newspaper, and shall alwa3rs 
try to do right and be good, so that God will not make 
me one ; but there are some persons who hâve got the 
impression somehow that I am that kind of character, 
and they treat me accordingly. They send me a new- 
fangled wheelbarrow, and ask me to ** notice "it; or a 
peculiar boôt-jack, and ask me to "notice" \t\ ot -^ 
sample of cofee, and ask me to **Tio^cfc'^ \\.S ^"^ "«^ 



98 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

article of fumiture worth eight or ten dollars, or a pair 
of crutches, or a truss, or an artiôcial nose, or a few 
shillings' worth of rubbish of the vegetable species ; and 
hère lately, ail in one day, I received a barrel of apples, 
a thing to milk cows with, a basket of peaches, a box of 
grapes, a new sort of wooden leg, and a patent " com- 
position " grave-stone. " Notices " requested. A barrel 
of apples, a cow-milker, a basket of peaches, and a box 
of grapes, ail put together, are not worth the bore of 
writing a "notice," or a tenth part of the room the 
" notice " would take up in the paper, and so they re- 
mained unnoticed. I had no immédiate use for the 
wooden leg, and would not hâve accepted a charity 
grave-stone if I had been dead and actually sufifering for 
it when it came : so I sent those articles back. 

The ungracefiil custom, so popular in the back settle- 
ments, of facetiously wailing about the barren pockets of 
editors, is the parent of this uncanny present-inflicting, 
and it is time that the guild that originated the custom 
and now suflfer in pride and purse from it reflected tlïât 
décent and dignified poverty is thoroughly respectable ; 
while the flaunting of either a real or pretended neediness 
in the public face, and the bartering of nauseating " pufis '* 
for its legitimate fruit of charitable présents, are as 
thoroughly indehcate, unbecoming, and disreputable. 



^'AFTÉR" JENKINS. 

A GRAND aflfair of à bail — the Pioneers'— came ofF 
ât the Occidental some time ago. The following notes 
of the costumes wom by the belles of the occasion may 
not be uninterèsting to the gênerai rèader, and Jenkins 
may get an idéa therefrom : 

Mrs. W. M. wâs attired in an élégant pâté de foie gràs^ 
made expressly for her, and was greatly admired. 

Miss S. had her hair doné up. She was the centre of 
attraction for the gentlemen and the envy of ail thé 
ladies. 

Miss G. W. was tastefuUly dressed in a fout ensemble, 
and was greeted with deafening applause wherever she 
went 

Mrs. C. N. was superbly arrayed in white kid gloves. 
Her modest and engaging mannér accorded well with the 
impretending simplicity of her costume, and caused her 
to be regarded with absorbing interest by evéry one. 

The charming Miss M. M. B. appeared in a thrilling 
waterfall, whose exceeding grâce and volume compelled 
the homage of pioneeirs and emigrants alike. How 
bé'autiful she wâs ! 

The (ïueenly Mrs. L. R. was attractively attlte.d \^VKt 

néw inà bçq^wfifiil false teéûv, aivd Ùie bon jàur ^^^"^ "^^ 

^ 1. 



loo MARK TWAIlSrS SKETCHES. 

naturally produced was heightened by her enchanting 
and well-sustained smile. The manner of the lady is 
charmingly pensive and melancholy, and her troops of 
admirers desired no greater happiness than to get on the 
scent of her sozodont-sweetened sighs, and track her 
through her sinuous course among the gay and restless 
multitude. 

Miss R. P., with that répugnance to ostentation in 
dress, which is so peculiar tb her, was attired in a simple 
white lace collar, fastened with a neat pearl-button soli- 
taire. The fine contrast between the sparkling vivacity 
of her natural optic and the steadfast attentiveness of 
her placid glass eye, was the subject of gênerai and 
enthusiastic remark. 

The radiant and sylph-like Mrs. T. wore hoops. She 
showed to great advantage, and created a sensation 
wherever she appeared. She was the gayest of the gay. 

Miss C. L. B. had her fine nose elegantly enamelled, 
and the easy grâce with which she blew it from time to 
time marked her as a cultivated and accomplished 
woman of the world ; its exquisitely modulated tone 
excited the admiration of ail who had the happiness to 
hear it. 

Being ofFended with Miss X., and our acquaintance 
having ceased permanently, I will take this opportunity 
of observing to her that it is of no use for her to be 
prancing off to every bail that takes place, and flou- 
rishing around with a brass oyster-knife skewered through 
her waterfall, and srailing her sickly smile through her 
decayeà teeth, with her dismal pug-nose in the air. 
TAere is no use in it — she dorft àecevv^ siTv^bQdv* 



''AFTEIV JENKINS. . loi 

Everybody knows she is old ; everybody knows she is 
repaired (you might almost say built) with artificial bones 
and hair and muscles and things, from the ground up — 
put together scrap by scrap ; and everybody knows, 
also, that ail one would hâve to do would be to pull out 
her key-pin, and she would go to pièces like a Chinese 
puzzle. 



ANSWER TO AN INQUIRY FROM THE 

COMING MAN. 

"YouNG AuTHOR." — Ycs, Agassiz does recommend 
authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes 
brains. So far you are correct. But I cannot help you 
to a décision about theamount you need to eat — atleast, 
not with certainty. If the spécimen composition you send 
is about your fair usual average, I should judge that 
perhaps a couple of whales would be ail you would want 
for the présent. Not the largest kind, but simply good 
middling-sized whales. 



CONCERNING CHAMBERMAIDS. 

Agaïnst ail chambermaids, of whatsoever âge or na- 
tionality, I launch the curse of bachelordom ! Because : 

They always put the pillows at the opposite end of the 
bed from the gas-bumer, so that while you read and 
smoke before sleeping (as is the ancient and honoured 
custom of bachelors), you hâve to hold your book aloft, 
in an uncomfortable position, to keep the light from daz- 
zling your eyes. 

When they find the pillows removed to the other end 
o( the bed in the morning, they receive not the sugges- 
tion in a friendly spirit ; but, glorying in their absolute 
sovereignty, and unpitying your helplessness, they make 
the bed just as it was originally, and gloat in secret over 
the pang their tyranny will cause you. 

Always after that, when they find you hâve transposed 
the pillows, they undo your work, and thus defy and seek 
to embitter the life that God has given you. 

If they cannot get the light in an inconvénient posi- 
tion any other way, they move the bed. 

If you pull your trunk out six indies firom the wali, so 
that die Hd will stay up when you open it, they always 
shove that trunk back again. They do it on purpose. 

If you want the spittoon in a certain spot^ wKere ^^ 
will be handy, they don% anà so ftie^ xûon^Sx. 



I04 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES, 

• They always put your other boots into inaccessible 
places. They chiefly enjoy depositing them as far under 
the bed as the wall will permit. It is because this com- 
pels you to get down in an undignified attitude and make 
wild sweeps for them in the dark with the boot-jack, and 
swear. 

They always put the match-box in some other place. 
They hunt up a new place for it every day, and put up 
a bottle, or other perishable glass thing, where the box 
stood before. This is to cause you to break that glass 
thing, groping in the dark, and get yourself into trouble. 

They are for ever and ever moving the fumiture. 
When you come in, in the night, you can calculate on 
finding the bureau where the wardrobe was in the 
moming. And when you go out in the moming, if you 
leave the slop-bucket by the door and rocking-chair by 
the window, when you come in at midnight, or there- 
abouts, you will fall over that rocking-chair, and you will 
proceed toward the window and sit down in that slop- 
tub. This will disgust you. They like that. 

No matter where you put anything, they are not going 
to let it stay there. They will take it and move it the 
first chance they get. It is their nature. And, besides, 
it gives them pleasure to be mean and contrary this way. 
They would die if they couldn't be villains. 

They always save up ail the old scraps of printed 
rubbish you throw on the floor, and stack them up care- 
fuUy on the table, and start the fire with your valuable 
manuscripts. If there is any one particular old scrap 
that you are more down on than any other, and which 
you aregraduaîîy wearing your life out trying to get rid 



CONCERNING CHAMBERMAIDS. 105 

of, you may take ail the pains you possibly can in that 
direction, but it won't be of any use, because they will 
always fetch that old scrap back and put it in the same 
old place again every time. It does them good. 

And they use up more hair-oil than any six men. If 
charged with purloining the same, they lie about it. 
What do they care about a hereafter? Absolutely 
nothing. 

If you leave the key in the door for convenience sake, 
they will carry it down to the office and give ^ it to the 
clerk. They do this under the vile pretence of trying 
to protect your property from thieves ; but actually they 
do it because they want to make you tramp back down- 
stairs after it when you corne home tired, or put you to 
the trouble of sending a waiter for it, which waiter will 
expect you to pay him something. In which case I sup- 
pose the degraded créatures divide. 

They keep always trying to make your bed before you 
get up, thus destroying your rest and inflicting agony 
upon you; but after you get up, they don^t come any 
more till next day. 

They do ail the mean things they can think of, and 
they do them just out of pure cussedness, and nothing 
else. 

Chambermaids are dead to every human instinct. 

If I can get a bill through the Législature abolishing 
chambermaids, I mean to do it. 



BURLESQUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

I. 

Two or three persons having at différent times in- 
timated that if I would write an autobiography they 
would read it when they got leisure, I yield at last to this 
frenzied public demand, and herewith tender my history. 

Ours is a noble old house, and stretches a long way 
back into antiquity. The earliest ancestor the Twains 
hâve any record of was a friend of the family by the 
name of Higgins. This was in the eleventh century, 
when our people were living in Aberdeen, count}»^ of 
Cork, England. Why it is that our long line has ever 
since borne the maternai name (except when one of 
them now and then took a playful refuge in an aiias to 
avert foolishness) instead of Higgins, is a mystery which 
none of us has ever felt much désire to stir. It is a kind 
of vague pretty romance, and we leave it alone. AU the 
old families do that way. 

Arthour Twain was a man of considérable note — a 
solicitor on the highway in William Rufus's time. At 
about the âge of thirty he went to one of those fine old 
English places of resort called Newgate, to see about 
something, and never retumed again. While there he 
died suddenly. 
Augustus Twain seems to hâve made something of a 



BURLESQUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 107 

stir about the year 1160. He was as full of fiin as he 
could be, and used to take his old sabre and sharpen it 
up, and get in a convenient place on a dark nîght, and 
stick it through people as they went by, to see them 
jump. He was a bom humorist. But he got to going 
too fax with it ; and the first time he was found stripping 
one of thèse parties the authorities removed one end of 
him, and put it up on a nice high place on Temple Bar, 
where it could contemplate the people and hâve a good 
time. He never liked any situation so much or stuck to 
it so long. 

Then for the next two hundred years the family tree 
shows a succession of soldiers — noble, high-sphited 
fdlows, who always went into battle singing, right behind 
the army, and always went out a-whooping, right ahead 
of it 

This is a scathing rebuke to old dead Froissart*s poor 
witticism, that our family tree never had but one limb to 
it, and that that one stuck out at right angles, and bore 
finit winter and summer. 

Early in the fifteenth century we hâve Beau Twain, 
called "the Scholar." He wrote a beautiful, beautiful 
hand. And he could imitate anybody's hand so closely 
that it was enough to make a person laugh his head 
off to see it. He had infinité sport with his talent. 
But by-and-by he took a contract to break stone for a 
road, and the roughness of the work spoiled his hand. 
Still, he enjoyed life ail the time he was in the stone 
business, which, with inconsiderable intervais, was some 
forty-two years. In fact, he died in hamess. Diwvw^'ôJk 
those long jears he gave sudi saùsKajeÀoxi Ù\a.\. V^ x^rn^-^ 



io8 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCH ES, 

was through with one contract a week till govemmetit 
gave him another. He was a perfect pet. And he was 
always a favourite with his fellow-artists, and was a con- 
spicuous member of their benevolent secret society, 
called the Chain Gang. He always wore his hair short, 
had a préférence for striped clothes, and died lamented 
by the govemment. He was a sore loss to his country, 
for he was so regular. 

Some years later we hâve the illustrious John Morgan 
Twain. He came over to this country with Columbus 
in 1492 as a passenger. He appears to hâve been of a 
crusty, uncomfortable disposition. He complained of 
thê food ail the way over, and was always threatening to 
go ashore unless there was a change. He wanted fresh 
shad. Hardly a day passed over hîs head that he did 
not go idling about the ship with his nose in the air, ^ 
sneering about the commander, and saying he did not 
believe Columbus knew where he was going to or had 
ever been there before. The mémorable cry of " Land 
ho !" thrilled every heart in the ship but his. He gazed 
a while through a pièce of smoked glass at the pencilled 
line lying on the distant water, and then said, " Land be 
hanged! It'saraft!" 

When this questionable passenger came on board the 
ship he brôught nothing with him but an old newspaper 
containing a handkerchief marked " B. G.," one cotton 
sock marked " L. W. C," one woollen one marked 
" D. F.,'' and a night-shirt marked " O. M. R." And 
yet during the voyage he worried more about his 
" trunk," and gave himself more airs about it than ail 
the rest of the passengers put together. If the ship was 



BURLESQUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 109 

" down by the head," and would not steer, he would go 
and move his " trunk " further aft, and then watch the 
effect If the ship was " by the stem," he would suggest 
to Columbus to détail some men to " shift that baggage." 
In.storms he had to be gagged, because his waiHngs 
about his "trunk" made it impossible for the men to 
hear the orders. The man does not appear to hâve 
been openly charged with any gravely unbecoming thing, 
but it is noted in the ship's log as a " curious circum- 
stance" that, albeit he brought his baggage on board the 
ship in a newspaper, he took it ashore in four trunks, a 
queensware crate, and a couple of Champagne baskets. 
But when he came back insinuating, in an insolent 
swaggering way, that some of his things were missing, 
and was going to search the other passengers* baggage, it 
was too much, and they threw him overboard. They 
watched long and wonderingly for him to come up, but 
not even a bubble rose on the quietly-ebbing tide. But, 
while every one was most absorbed in gazing over the 
side and the interest was momentarily increasing, it was 
observed with consternation that the vessel was adrift 
and the anchor cable hanging limp from the bow. Then 
in the ship's dimmed and ancient log we find this quaint 
note : — 

"In time it was discouvered y* y* troublesome passènger hadde 
gonne downe and got y* anchor, and toke y* same and solde it to y* 
dam sauvages from y* interior, saying y* he h^dàtfouncU it, y" sonne 
of a ghun ! " 

Yet this ancestor had good and noble instincts, and it 
is with pride that we call to mind the fact that he wa& 
the first white person who evet mtete^X-tâi V\tcss»€&. \a.^^ 



iio MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES, 

work of elevating and civilizing our Indians. He built 
a commodious jail, and put up a gallows, and to his 
dying day he claimed with satisfaction that he had had 
a more restraining and elevating influence on the Indians 
than any other reformer that ever laboured among them. 
At this point the chronicle became less frank and chatty, 
and closes abruptly by saying that the old ivoyager went 
to see his gallows perform on the first white man ever 
hanged in America, and while there received injuries 
which terminated in his death. 

The great grandson of the "Reformer" flourished in 
sixteen hundred and something, and was known in our 
annals as " the old Admirai," though in history he had 
other titles. He was long in command of fleets of swift 
vessels, well armed and manned, and did great service in 
hurrying up merchantmen. Vessels which he foUowed 
and kept his eagle eye on always made good fair time 
across the océan. But if a ship still loitered in spite of 
ail he could do his indignation would grow till he could 
contain himself no longer — and then he would take that 
ship home where he lived and keep it there carefuUy, 
expecting the owners to come for it, but they never did. 
And he would try to get the idleness and sloth out of the 
sailors of that ship by compelling them to take invigo- 
rating exercise and a bath. He called it " walking a 
plank.'* AU the pupils liked it At any rate they never 
found any fault with it after trying it When the owners 
were late coming for their ships, the Admirai always 
bumed them, so that the insurance money should not be 
lost. At last this fine old tar was eut down in the fulness 
of his yeaxs and honours. And to her dying day his 



BURLESQUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY. m 

poor heaxt-broken widow believed that if he had been 
eut down fifteen minutes sooner he might hâve been 
resusdtated. 

Charles Henry Twain lived during the latter part of 
the seventeenth century, and was a zealous and distin- 
guished missionary. He converted sixteen thousand 
South Sea Islanders, and taught them that a dog-tooth 
necklace and a pair of spectacles was not enough cloth- 
ing to corne to divine service in. His poor flock loved 
him very, very dearly ; and when his funeral was over they 
got up in a body (and came out of the restaurant) with tears 
in their eyes, and saying one to another that he was a 
good, tender missionary, and they wished they had some 
nKMre of him. 

PAH-GO-TO-WAH-WAH-PUKKETEKEEWIS(Mighty-Hunter- 

with-a-Hogg-Eye) Twain adomed the middle of the 
cighteenth century, and aided Gen. Braddock with ail 
his heart to resist the oppressor Washington. It was 
tiûs ancestor who fired seventeen times at our Washing- 
ton from behind a tree. So far the beautiful romantic 
niarrative in the moral story-books is correct, but when 
that narrative goes on to say that at the seventeenth 
round the awe-strickèn savage said solemnly that that 
man was being reserved by the Great Spirit for some 
mighty mission, and he dared not lift his sacrilegious rifle 
against him again, the narrative seriously impairs the in- 
tegrity of history. What he did say was — 

"It ain't no (hic) no use. 'At man*s so drunk he 
can't stan' still long enough for a man to hit him. I 
(hic 1) / can't 'ford to fo(^ away any more am'nition qcl 



112 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

T/iat was why he stopped at the seventeentli round, 
and it was a good, plain, matter-of-fact reason, too, and 
one that easily commends itself to us by the éloquent 
persuasive flavour of probability there is about it 

I always enjoyed the story-book narrative, but I- felt a 
marring misgiving that every Indian at Braddock's Defeat 
who fired at a soldier a couple of times {iwo easily grôws 
to seventeen in a century), and missed him, jumped to 
the conclusion that the Great Spirit was reserving that 
soldier for some grand mission; and so I somehow 
feared that the only reason why Washington's case is 
remembered and the others forgotten is, that in his the 
prophecy came true, and in that of the others it didn't. 
There are not books enough on earth to contain the 
record of the prophecies Indians and other unau- 
thorised parties hâve made; but oné may carry in his 
overcoat pockets the record of ail the prophecies that 
hâve httn fulfilled, 

I will remark hère, in passing, that certain ancestors of 
mine are so thoroughly well known in history by their 
aliases that I hâve not felt it to be worth while to dwell 
upon them, or even mention them in the order of 
their birth. Among thèse may be mentioned Richard 
Brinsley Twain, alias GuyFawkes; John Wentworth 
Twain, alias Sixteen-String Jack; William Hogarth 
Twain, alias Jack Sheppard; Ananias Twain, alias 
Baron Munchausen ; John George Twain, alias Capt. 
Kydd. And then there are George Francis Train, Tom 
Pepper, Nebuchadnezzar, and Balaam's Ass : they ail 
belong to our family, but to a branch of it somewhat 
distantly removed from the honourable direct line — ^in 



BURLESQUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 113 

fact a collatéral branch, whose members chiefly difFer 
from the ancient stock in that, in order to acquire the 
notoriety we hâve always yearned and hungered for, 
they hâve got into a low way of going to. jail instead of 
getting hanged. 

It is not well, when writing an autobiography, to 
foUow your ancestry down too close to your own time — 
it is safest to speak only vaguely of your great-grandfather, 
and then skip from there to yourself, which I now do. 

I was bom without teeth — and there Richard IIL had 
the advantage of me ; but I was bom without a hump- 
back likewise, and there I had the advantage of him, 
My parents were neither very poor nor conspicuously 
honest 

But now a thought occurs to me. My own history 
would really seem so tame contrasted with that of my 
ancestors that it is simply wisdom to leave it unwritten 
until I am hanged. If some other biographies I hâve 
read had stopped with the ancestry until a like event 
occurred it would hâve been a felicitous thing for the 
reading public. How does it strike you ? 



w 



THE UNDERTAKER'S CHAT. 

"Now, that corpse,'* said the undertaker, patting the 
folded hands of deceased approvingly, " was a brick — 
^very way you took him he was a brick. He was so real 
accpmmodating, and so modest-like and simple in his 
Iftst momeixts. Friends wanted metallic burial case — 
nothing else would do. / couldn't get it. There wam*t 
going to be time — anybody could sec that 

" Corpse said neyqr mind, shake him up some kind of 
a box he could stretch out in comfortable, he wam't par- 
ticular 'bout the gênerai style of it Said he went more 
<Mi room than style, any way, in a last final container. 

" Friends wanted a silver door-plate on the cofiin, sig- 
nifying who he was and wher* he was from. ^o^ you 
know a fellow couldn't roust out such a gaily thing as 
that in a little country town like this. What did corpse 
say? 

" Corpse said, whitewash his old canoë and dob his 
address and gênerai destination onto it with a blacking 
brush and a stencil plate, 'long with a verse from some 
likely hymn or other, and pint him for the tomb, and 
mark him C. O. D., and just let him flicker. He wam*t 
distrïfâsed any more than you be — on the contrary just as 
ca^ &nd collected as a hearse-horse ; said he judged 



THE UNDERTAKERS CHAT, 115 

that wher' he was going to a body would find it considér- 
able better to attract attention by a picturesque moral 
character .than a natty burial case with a swell door-plate 
on it 

".Splendid man, he was. l'd druther do for a corpse 
like that 'n any IVe tackled in seven year. There's some 
satisfaction in burpn' a man like that. You feel that 
what you're doing is appreciated. Lord bless you, so's 
he got planted before he sp'iled, he was perfectly satisfiedj 
said his relations meant well, perfectly well, but ail them 
préparations was bound to delay the thing more or less, 
and he didn't wish to be kept lapn' around. You never 
see such a clear head as what he had — and so ca'm and 
so cool. Just a hunk of brains — that is what /le was. 
Pçrfectly awful. It was a ripping distance from one end 
of that man's head to t'other. Often and over again he's 
had brain fever a-raging in one place, and the rest of the 
pile didn't know anything about it — didn*t affecj it any 
more than an Injun insurrection in Arizona affects the 
Atlantic States. 

"Well, the relations they wanted a big funeral, but 
corpse said he was down on flummery — didn't want any 
procession — fill the hearse full of moumers, and get out 
a stem Une and tow htm behind. He was the most down 
on style of any remains I ever struck. A beautiful simple- 
minded créature — it was what he was, you can dépend 
on that He was jûst set on having things the way he 
wanted them, and he took a solid comfort in laying his 
little plans. He had me measure him and take a whole 
raft of directions ; then he had the rcL\Tû&\.«. ^\axî^^ >«è 
béhind a long box with a tab\e-c\o\h ^n^xVl, \s) x«^^^^^ 



Ii6 MAEK TWAIN' S SKETCH ES, 

the coffin, and read his funeral sermon, saying * Angcore, 
angcore ! ' at the good places, and making him scratch 
out every bit of brag about him, and ail the hifalutin ; 
and then he made them trot out the choir so's he 
could help them pick out the tunes for the occa- 
sion, and he got them to sing ' Pop Goes the Weasel,' 
because he'd always liked that tune when he was down- 
hearted, and solemn music made him sad ; and when they 
sung that with tears in their eyes (because they ail loved 
him), and his relations grieving around, he just laid there 
as happy as a bug, and trying to beat time and showing 
ail over how much he enjoyed it ; and presently he got 
worked up and excited, andtried to join in, for mind you 
he was pretty proud of his abilities in the singing line ; 
but the first time he opened his mouth and was just going 
to spread himself his breath took a walk. 

" I never see a man snuffed out so sudden. Ah, it 
was a great loss — ^it was a powerful loss to this poor little 
one-horse town. Well, well, well, I hain't got time to be 
palavering along hère — got to nail on the lid and mosey 
along with him ; and if youll just give me a lift we'll 
skeet him into the hearse and meander along. Relations 
bound to hâve it so — don't pay no attention to dying 
injunctions, minute a côrpse's gone j bjit, if I had my way, 
if I didn't respect his last wishes and tow him behind the 
hearse TW be cuss*d. I consider that whatever a corpse 
wants done for his comfort is little enough matter, and a 
man hain't got no right to deceive him or take advantage 
of him ; and whatever a corpse trusts me to do l'm a- 
S'oing to do, you know, even if it's to stuff him and paint 
Jii'm yaller and keep him for a keeçsaX^ — yoM Içl^^t; wtf / " 



THE UNDERTAKERS CHAT. 117 

He cracked his whip and went lumbering away with 
his ^ ancient ruin of a hearse, and I continued my walk 
with a valuable lesson leamed — that a healthy and whole- 
some cheerfulness is not necessarily impossible to any 
occupation. The lesson is likely to be lasting, for it wiH 
take many months to obliterate the memory of the re- 
marks and chrcumstances that impressed it. 



THE PETRIFIED MAN. 

Now, to show how really hard it is to foist a moral or 
a truth upon an unsuspecting public through a burlesque 
without entirely and absurdly missing one*s mark, I will 
hère set down two expériences of my own in this thing. 
In the fall of i862,^n Nevada and Califomia, the people 
got to running wild about extraordinary petrifactions and 
other natural marvels. One could scarcely pick up a 
paper without finding in it one or two glorified discoveries 
of this kind. The mania was becoming a little ridicu- 
lous. I was a bran-new local editor in Virginia City, 
and I felt called upon to destroy this growing evil ; we 
ail hâve our benignant fatherly moods at one time or 
another, I suppose. I chose to kill the petrifaction mania 
with a délicate, a very délicate satire. But maybe it was 
altogether too délicate, for nobody ever perceived the 
satire part of it at ail. I put my scheme in the shape of 
the discovery of a remarkable petrified man. 

I had had a temporary falling out with Mr. Sewall, the 
new coroner and justice of the peace of Humboldt, and 
thought I might as well touch him up a little at the same 
time and make him ridiculous, and thus combine pleasure 
with business. So I told, in patient belief-compelling 
détail, ail about the /înding of a petrifved matv at Gravelly 



THE PETRIFIED M AN. 119 

Ford (exactly a hundred and twenty miles, over a break- 
neck mountain trail, from where Sewall lived) ; how ail 
the savants of the immédiate neighbourhood had been to 
examine it (it was notorious that there was not a living 
créature within fifty miles of there, except a few starving 
Indians, some crippled grasshoppers, and four or five 
buzzards out of méat and too feeble to get away) ; how 
those savants ail pronounced the petrified man to hâve 
been in a state of complète petrifaction for over ten géné- 
rations ; and then, with a seriousness that I ought to hâve 
been ashamed to assume, I stated that as soon as Mr. 
Sewall heard the news he summoned a jury, mounted his 
mule, and posted off, with noble révérence for officiai 
duty, on that awfiil five days' joumey, through alkali, sage- 
brush, péril of body, and imminent starvation, to kold an 
itêquest on this man that had been dead and tumed to 
everlasting stone for more' than three hundred years! 
And then, my hand being " in," so to speak, I went on, 
with the same unflinching gravity, to state that the jury 
returned a verdict that deceased came to his death from 
fratracted expûsure. This only moved me to higher flights 
of imagination, and I said tiiat the jury, with that charity 
so characteristic of pioneers, then dug a grave, and were 
about to give the petrified man Christian burial, when 
they found that for âges a limestone sédiment had been 
trickling down the face of the stone against which he was 
sitting, and this stuff had run under him and cemented 
him fast to the " bed-rock ; " that the jury (they were ail 
silver-miners) canvassed the difficuhy a moment, and then 
got out their powder and fuse, and proceedad \si ^saS^ -^ 
hole under taxa, in order to hlasi him from Kls ^ositwas 



\ 



I20 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES. 

when Mr. Sewall, " with that delicacy so characteristic 
of him, forbade them, observing that it would be little 
less than sacrilège to do such a thing.*' 

From beginning to end the " Petrified Man " squib was 
a string of roaring absurdities, albeit they were told with 
an unfair pretence of truth that even imposed upon me 
to some extent, and I was in some danger of believing 
in my own fraud. But I really had no désire to deceive 
anybody, and np expectation of doing it I depended 
on the way the petrified man was sitting to explain to the 
public that he was a swindle. Yet I purposely mixed 
that up with other things, hoping to make it obscure — 
and I did. I would describe the position of one foot, 
and then say his right thumb was against the side of his 
nose ; then talk about his other foot, and presendy come 
back and say the fingers of his right hand were spread 
apart j then talk about the bâck of his head a little, and 
retum and say the left thumb was hooked into the right 
little finger ; then ramble ofF about something else, and 
by-and-by drift back again and remark that the fingers of 
the left hand were spread like those of the right But I 
was too ingenious. I mixed it up rather too much ; and 
so ail that description of the attitude, as a key to the 
humbuggery of the article, was entirely lost, for nobody 
but me ever discovered and comprehended the peculiar 
and suggestive position of the petrified man's hands. 

As a satire on the petrifaction mania, or anything else, 

my Petrified Man was a disheartening failure ; for every- 

body received him in innocent good faith, and I was 

stunned to see the jcreature I had begotten to pull down 

the wonder-business with, and bring dérision uçon it, 



THE PETRIFIED M AN, 121 

calmly exalted to the grand chief place in the list of the 
genuine marvels our Nevada had produced. I was so 
disappointed at the curious miscarriage of my scheme 
that at first I was angry, and did not like to think about 
it ; but by-and-by, when the exchanges began to corne 
in with the Petrified Man copied and guilelessly glorified, 
1 began to feel a soothing secret satisfaction ; and as my 
gentleman's field oftravel broadened, and by the ex- 
changes I saw that he steadily and implacably penetrated 
territory after territory, State after State, and land after 
land, till he swept the great globe and culminated in 
sublime and unimpeached legitimacy in the august Lon- 
don Lancet^ my cup was full, and I said I was glad I had 
done it. I think that for about eleven months, as nearly 
as I can remember, Mr. SewalFs daily mail-bag continued 
to be swoUen by the addition of half a bushel of news- 
papers hailing from many climes with the Petrified Man 
in them, marked around with a prominent belt of ink. I 
sent them to him. I did it for spite, not for fun. He 
used to shovel them into his back yard and curse. And 
every day during ail those months the miners, his con- 
stituents (for miners ne ver quit joking a person when 
they get started), would call on him and ask if he could 
tell them where they could get hold of a paper with the 
Petrified Man in it. He could hâve accommodated a 
continent with them. I hated Sewall in those days, and 
thèse things pacified me and pleased me. I could not 
hâve gotten more real comfort out of him without killing 
him. 



.MARVELLOUS "BLOODY MASSACRE." 

The other burlesque I hâve referred to was my fine 
satire upon the financial expédient of "cooking divi- 
dends," a thing which became shamefully fréquent on the 
Pacific coast for a while. Once more, in my selfcom- 
placent simplicity, I felt that the time had arrived for me 
to rise up and be a reformer. I put this reformatory 
satire in the shape of a fearful "Massacre at Empire 
City." The San Francisco papers were making a great 
outcry about the iniquity of the Daney Silver-Mining 
Company, whose directors had declared a " cooked " or 
false dividend, for the purpose of increasing the value of 
their stock, so that they could sell out at a comfortable 
figure, and then scramble from under the tumbling con- 
cem. And while abusing the Daney, those papers did 
not forget to urge the public to get rid of ail their silvef 
stocks and invest in sound and safe San Francisco stocks, 
such as the Spring Valley Water Company, etc* But 
right at this unfortunate juncture, behold the Spring 
Valley cooked a dividend too ! And so, under the in- 
sidious mask of an invented " bloody massacre," I stole 
upon the public unawares with my scathing satire upon 
the dividend-cooking System. In about half a column of 
znaginary inhuman carnage I to\à Yvow a c\\.YLes\ had 



MARVELLOUS '' BLOODY MASSACRE:' 123 

murdered his wife and nine children, and then committed 
suicide. And I said slyly, at the bottom, that the sudden 
madness of which this melancholy massacre was the re- 
suit, had been brought about by his having allowed 
himself to be persuaded by the Califomia papers to sell 
his Sound and lucrative Nevada silver stocks, and buy 
into Spring Valley just in time to get cooked along with 
that company's fancy dividend, and sink every cent he 
had in the world. 

Ah, it was a deep, deep satire, and most ingeniously 
contrived. But I made the horrible détails so carefully 
and conscientiously interesting that the public simply 
devoured them greedily, and whoUy overlooked the fol- 
lowing distinctly stated facts, to wit : — The murderer was 
perfectly well known to every créature in the land as a 
bacheiar, and consequently he could not murder his wife 
and nine children ; he murdered them " in his splendid 
d^essed-stone mansion just in the edge of the great pine 
fbrest between Empire City and Dutch Nick's," when 
even the very pickled oysters that came on our tables 
knew that there was not a " dressed-stone mansion " in 
ail Nevada Territory ; also that, so far from there being 
a ** great pine forest between Empire City and Dutch 
Nick's,'' there wasn't a soHtary tree within fifteen miles 
of either place ; and, finally, it was patent and notorious 
that Empire City and Dutch Nick's were one and the 
same place, and contained only six houses anyhow, and 
consequently there could be no forest between them ; and 
on top of ail thèse absurdities I stated that this diabolical 
murderer, after inflicting a wound upon hitaselC Xkva^ "^^ 
reader ought to hâve seen wouVdYiaveVï^fc^^T^ ^ç^tJ^^ss^. 



124 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

n the twinkling of an eye, jumped on his horse and rode 

four miiesy waving his wife*s reeking scalp in the air, and 

thus performing entered Carson City with tremendous 

éciat^ and dropped dead in front of the chief saloon, the 

tnwy and admiration of ail beholders. 

Well, in ail my life I never saw anything like the sen- 
sation that little satire created. It was the talk of the 
town, it was the talk of the Territory. Most of the 
citizens dropped gently into it at breakfast, and they 
never finished their meal. There was something about 
those minutely faithful détails that was a sufficing substi- 
tute for food. Few people that were able to read took 
food that moming. Dan and I (Dan was my reportorial 
associate) took our seats on either side of our customary 
table in the " Eagle Restaurant," and, as I unfolded the 
shred they used to call a napkin in that establishment, I 
saw at the next table two stalwart innocents with that 
sort of vegetable dandruff sprinkled about their clothing 
which was the sign and évidence that they were in from 
the Truckee with a load of hay. The one facing me had 
the moming paper folded to a long narrow strip, and I 
knew, without any teUing, that that strip represented the 
column that contained my pleasant financial satire. From 
the way he was excitedly mumbling, I saw that the heed- 
less son of a hay-mow was skipping with ail his might, in 
order to get to the bloody détails as quickly as possible ; 
and so he was missing the guide-boards I had set up to 
wam him that the whole thing was a fraud. Presently 
his eyes spread wide open, just as his jaws swung asunder 
to take in a potato approaching it on a fork ; the potato 
halted, the face Ut up redly, and Ihe 'whole man was on 



MARVELLOUS '' BLOODY MASSACRES 125 

fire with excitement. Then he broke into a disjointed 
checking-off of the particulars — his potato cooling in mid- 
air meantime, and his mouth making a reach for il occa- 
sionally, but always bringing up suddenly against a new 
and still more direful performance of my hero. At last 
he looked his stunned and rigid comrade impressively in 
the face, and said, with an expression of concentrated 
awe — 

"Jim, he b'iled his baby, and he took the old 'oman's 
skelp. Cuss'd if / want any breakfast ! " 

And he laid his linge.ring potato reverently down, and 
he and his friend departed from the restaurant empty but 
satisôed. 

He never got down to where the satire part of it began. 
Nobody ever did. They found the thrilling particulars 
sufficient. To drop in with a poor little moral at the 
fag-end of such a gorgeous massacre, was to follow the 
expiring sun with a candie and hope to attract the world's 
attention to it 

The idea that anybody could ever take my massacre 
for a genuine occurrence never once suggested itself to 
me, hedged about as it was by ail those tell-tale absurdi- 
ties and impossibilities conceming the "great pine 
forest," the " dressed-stone mansion," etc. But I found 
out then, and never hâve forgotten since, that we never 
read the dull explanatory surroundings of marvellously 
exciting things when we hâve no occasion to suppose 
that some irresponsible scribbler is trying to defraud us ; 
we skip ail that, and hasten to revel in the blood-curdling 
particulars and be happy. 

ThçrçfprC; being bittcrly expenexvc^à, \ \.fvçi^ V^^ x.^ 



126 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES. 

word that agricultural squib of mine in such a way as to 
deceive nobody ; and I partly succeeded, but not entirely. 
However, I did not do any harm with it any way. In 
order that parties who hâve lately written me about vege- 
tables and things may know that there was a time when 
I would hâve answered their questions to the very best 
of my ability, and considered it my imperative duty to do 
it, I refer them to the narrative of my one week*s expé- 
rience as an agricultural editor, which will be found in 
this Memoranda next month. 



JOURNALISM IN TENNESSEE. 

[From the Bunkum Express, ] 

** The editor of the Memphis Avalanche swoops thus mildly down 
upon a correspondent who posted him as a Radical : — * While he 
was writing the first word, the middle, dotting his i's, crossing his 
\\ and punching his period, the black-hearted reptile knew he was 
concoctîng a sentence that was satnrated with inûimy and rotten 
wîth £aIsehood.' " — Exchange, 

I WAS told by the physician that a Southern climate 
would improve my heaith, and so I went down to Ten- 
nessee, and got a berth on the Moming Gîory and John- 
son County War-Whoop as associate editor. When I 
went on duty, I found the chief editor sitting tilted back 
in a three-legged chair, with his feet on a pine table. 
There was another pine table in the room, and another 
afïlicted chair, and both were half buried under news- 
papers and scraps and sheets of manuscript. There was 
a wooden box of sand, sprinkled with cigar stubs and 
" old sc^diers," and a stove whose door was hanging by 
its iipper hinge. The chief editor had a long-tailed 
black cloth frock coat on, and white linen pants. His 
boots were small and neatly blacked. He wore a ruffled 
shirt, a large seal ring, a standing collar of obsolète 
patter^, aofd ^ ch^ke?:t4 iveck«tcYàfel wî^ 'Cafc «aè^s. 






128 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES, 

hanging down. Date of costume about 1848. He^was 
smoking a cigar, and trying to think of a word, and in 
pawing his hair he had nimpled his locks a good deal. 
He was scowling fearfiilly, and I judged that he was 
concocting a particularly knotty editorial. He told me 
to take the exchanges and skim through them and write 
up the " Spirit of the Tennessee Press," condensing into 
the article ail of their contents that seemed of interest. 
I wrote as foUows : — 

"SPIRIT OF THE TENNESSEE PRESS. 



n 



The editors of the Semi-Weekly Earthquake evidently labour 
under a mîsapprehension with regard to the Ballyhack Railroad. Il 
is not the object of the company to leave Buzzardville off to onc 
side. On the contrary, they consider it one of the most important 
points along the Une, and, consequently, can hâve no désire to slight 
it. The gentlemen of the Earthquake will, of course, takè pleasure 
in making the correction. 

"John W. Blossom, Esq., the able cditor of the HigginsviUe 
Thunderbolt and Battle-Cry of Freedom^ arrived in the city yesterday. 
He is stopping at the Van Buren House. 

** We observe that our contemporary of the Mud Springs Moming 
Howl has fiallen into the error of supposing that the élection of Vén 
Werter is not an established fact, but he will hâve discovered his 
mistake before this reminder reaches him, no doubt. He was, 
doubtless, misled by incomplète élection retums. 

**It is pleasant to note that the city of Blathersville is endeavouring 
to contract with sdme New York gentleman to pave its well-nigh 
impassable streets with the Nicholson pavement. But it is difficnlt 
to accomplish a désire like this since Memphis got some New Yorkers 
to do a like service for her and then declined to pay for it. How- 
ever, the Daily Hurrah still urges the measure with ability, and 
seems confident of ultimate success. 

" We are pained to leam that Colonel Bascom, chief editor of the 



JOURNALISAI IN TENNESSEE, 129 

Dying Shriekfor lÀberty^ fell in the streets a few evenings since and 
broke his leg. He has lately been suffering with debility, caused by 
over-work and anxiety on account of sickness in his family, and it is 
supposed that he fainted from the exertion of walking too much in 
the sun. " 



I passed my manuscript over to the chief editor for 
acceptance, altération, or destruction. He glanced at it, 
and his face clouded. He ran his eye down the pages, 
and his countenance grew portentous. It was easy to 
see that something was wrong. Presently he sprang up 
and said — 

" Thunder and lightning ! Do you suppose I am go- 
ing to speak of those cattle that way ?. Do you suppose 
my subscribers are going to stand such gruel as that ? 
Give me the pen ! " 

I never saw a pen scrape and scratch its way so 
viciously, or plough through another man's verbs and 
adjectives so relentlessly. While he was in the midst of 
his work somebody shot at him through the open win- 
dow, and marred the symmetry of his ear. 

** Ah," said he, " that is that scoundrel Smith, of the 
Moral Volcana — ^he was due yesterday.'* And he snatched 
a navy revolver from his belt and fired. Smith dropped, 
"Shot in the thigh. The shot spoiled Smith's aim, who 
was just taking a second aim, and he crippled a stranger. 
It was me. Merely a finger shot off. 

Then the chief editor went on with his erasures and 
interlineations. Just as he finished them a hand-grenade 
came down the stove pipe, and the exçlos^vorcv. ^wsvi^xfc^ 
the stove into a thousand fragtaetils. "ftnw^N^x^S^ ^^ 



230 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

no further damage, except that a vagrant pièce knocked 
a couple of my teeth out. 

"That stove is utterly ruined," said the chief editor. 

I said I believed it was. 

" Well, no matter — don't want it this kind of weather. 
I know the man that did it. l'U get him. Now, hère is 
the way this stuff ought to be written." 

I took the manuscript It was scarred with erasures 
and interlineations till its mother wouldn't hâve known 
it if it had one. It now read as follows : — 

"SPIRIT OF THE TENNESSEE PRESS. 



« 



The inveterate liars of the Semi- Weekly Earthquakezx^ evidently 
endeavouring to palm ofT upon a noble and chivalrous people aiw 
other of their vile and brutal falsehoods with regard to that most 
glorious conception of the nineteenth century, the Ballyhack Rail- 
road. The idea that Buzzardville was to be left off at one side 
originated in their own fulsome brains — or rather in the settlings 
which they regard as brains. They had better swallow this lie if 
they want to save their abandoned reptile carcasses the cowhiding 
they so richly deserve. 

•*That ass, Blossom, of the Higginsville Thnnderbolt and Battle- 
Cry of Freedom^ is down hère again bumming at the Van Buren. 

* * We observe that the besotted blackguard of the Mud Springs 
MomingHowl is giving out, with his usual propensity for l3dng,that 
Van Werter is not elected. The heaven-bom mission of joumalisni 
is to disseminate truth ; to eradicate error ; to educate, refine, and 
elevate the tone of public morals and manners, and make ail men 
more gentle, more virtuous, more charitable, and in ail ways better, 
and holier, and happîer ; and yet this black-hearted villain dégrades 
his great office persistently to the dissémination of falsehood, calumny, 
vitupération, and degrading vulgarity. 

^* Blathersville wants a Nicholson pavement — it wants a jail and 
js poorhouse more. The idea of a pavement in a one-horse town 



JOURNAUSM IN TENNESSEE. 131 

wUh two gîxi*mills and a blacksmith's shop in it, an4 that mustard- 
plaster of a newspaper, the Daily Hurrah / Better borrow of 
Memphis, where the article is cheap. The crawling insect, Buckner, 
who edits the Hurrah^ is braying about this business 'with his eus- 
tomary imbecility, and imagining that he is talking sensé." 

" No V that is the way to write — ^peppery and to the 
point Mush-and-milk joumalism gives me the fan- 
tods.^' 

About this time a brick came through the i^indow 
with a splintering of a crash, and gave me a considérable 
of a jolt in the back. I moved out of range — I began 
to feel in the way. 

The chief said, " That was the Colonel, likely. l've 
been expectîng him for two days. He will be up, now, 
ri^t away." 

He was correct. The Colonel appeared in the door 
a moment afterward, with a dragoon revolver in his 
hand 

He said, "Sir, I hâve the honour of addressing the 
poltroon who edits this mangy sheet ? " 

" You hâve. Be seated, sir. Be careful of the chair, 
onc of its legs is gone. I believe I hâve the honour of 
addressing the blatant scoundrel Col. Blatherskite Te- 
cumseh ? " 

" That's me. I hâve a little account to settle with 
you. If you are at leisure w€ will begin.'' 

" I hâve an article on the * Encouraging Progress of 
Moral and Intellectual Development in America* to 
finish, but there is no hurry. Begin." 

Both pistols rang out their fierce clamovax ^^5wfc.^asssfc 
instant. The chief lost a \ock cit \à"& \i3às^ «s\^ *^^ 



132 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES, 

Coloners buUet ended its career in the fleshy part of 
my thigh. The Coloners left shoulder was clipped a 
little. They fired again. Both missed their men this 
time, but I got my share, a shot in the arm. At the 
third fire both gentlemen were wounded slightly, and I 
had a knuckle chipped. I then said, I believed I would 
go out and take a walk, as this was a private interview, 
and I had a delicacy about participating in it fiirther. 
But both gentlemen begged me to keep my seat, and 
assured me that I was not in the way. I had thought 
diflferently up to this time. 

They then talked about the élections and the crops 
a while, and I fell to tying up my wounds. But pre- 
sently they opened fire again with animation, and every 
shot took effect — but it is proper to remark that five out 
of the six fell to my share. The sixth one mortally 
wounded the Colonel, who remarked, with fine humour, 
that he would hâve to say good moming now, as he had 
business up town. He then inquired the way to the 
undertaker's, and left. 

The chief tumed to me and said, " I am expectîng 
Company to dinner, and shall hâve to get ready. It will 
be a favour to me if you will read proof and attend to 
the customers." 

I winced a little at the idea of attending to the cus- 
tomers, but I was too bewildered by the fusillade that 
was still ringing in my ears to think of anything to say. 

He continued, "Jones will be hère at 3 — cowhide 

him. Gillespie will call earlier, perhaps — ^throw him out 

of the window. Ferguson will be along about 4 — kill 

him. TbsLt is ail for to-day, I believe» \i yoM Kave any 



yOURNALISM IN TENNESSEE, 133 

odd time, you may write a blistering article on the police 
— ^give the Chief Inspecter rats. The cowhides are 
under the table ; weapons in the drawer — ammunition 
there in the comer — lint and bandages up there in the 
pigeon-holes. In case of accident, go to Lancet, the 
surgeon, downstairs. He advertises — we take it out in 
trade." 

He was gone. I shuddered. At the end of the next 
three hours I had been through périls so awful tliat ail 
peace of mind and ail cheerfulness had gone from me. 
Gillespie had called and thrown me out of the window. 
Jones arrived promptly, and when I got ready to do the 
cowhiding he took the job off my hands. In an en- 
counter with a stranger, not in the bill of fare, I had lost 
my scaJp. Another stranger, by the name of Thompson, 
left me a mère wreck and min of chaotic rags. And at 
last, at bay in the corner, and beset by an infuriated mob 
of editors, blacklegs, politicians, and desperadoes, who 
raved and swore and flourished their weapons about my 
head till the air shimmered with glancing flashes of steel, 
I was in the act of resigning my berth on the paper when 
the chief arrived, and with him a rabble of charmed and 
enthusiastic friends. Then ensued a scène of riot and 
carnage such as no human pen, or steel one either, could 
describe. People were shot, probed, dismembered, blown 
up, thrown out of the window. There was a brief tor- 
nado of murky blasphemy, with a confused and frantic 
war-dance glimmering through it, and theji ail was over. 
In five minutes there was silence, and the gory chief and 
I sat alone and surveyed the sanguinary ruin that strewed 
the âoor around us. 



134 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES, 

He said, " You'U like this place when you get used 
toit'* 

I said, " l'il hâve to get you to excuse me, I think-^— 
maybe, I might write to suit you after a while ; as sdon 
as I had had some practice and leamed the kiBgui^e 
I am confident I could. But, to speak the plain ttuth, 
that sort of energy of expression has its inconveniences, 
and a inan is liablfe to interruption. You see that your- 
self. Vigorous writing is calculated to elevate the pubKc, 
no doubt, but then I do not like to attract so much 
attention as it calls forth. I can't write with comfbrt 
when I am interrupted so much as I hâve been to^y. 
I like this berth well enough, but I don't like to be left 
hère to wait on the customers. The expériences are 
novel, I grant you, and entertaining, too, after a fashion, 
but they are not judiciously distributed. A gentleman 
shoots at you through the window and cripples me; a 
bomb-shell comes down the stove pipe for your gratifica- 
tion, and sends the stove door down my throat ; a friend 
drops in to swap compliments with you, and freckles me 
with buUet-holes till my skin won't hold my principles j 
you go to dinner, and Jones comes with his cowhide ; 
Gillespie throws me out of the window, Thompson tears 
ail my clothes off, and an entire stranger takes my scalp 
with the easy freédom of an old acquaintance ; and in 
less than five minutes ail the blackguards in the country 
arrive in their war paint, and proceed to scare the rest of 
me to death with their tomahawks. Take it altogether, 
I never had such a spirited time in ail my life as I hâve 
had to-dajr. No j I like you, and I like your cahn tui- 
ruffled way of explaining things to the customers, bet 



JOURNALISM IN TENNESSEE. 135 

you see I am not used to it. The Southern heart is too 
impulsive, Southern hospitality is too lavish with the 
Etranger. The paragraphs which I hâve written to-day, 
and into whose cold sentences your masterly hand has 
infiised the fervent spirit of Tennesseean joumalism, will 
wake up another nest of homets. AU that mob of edi- 
tors will come — and they will corne hungry, too, and 
want somebody for breakfast. I shall hâve to bid you 
adieu. I décline to be présent at thèse festivities. I 
came South for my health, I will go back on the same 
errand, and suddenly. Tennessee joumalism is too stir- 
ring for me." 

After which we parted with mutual regret, and I took 
apartments at the hospital. 



THE NEW CRIME. 

LEGISLATION NEEDED. 

This country, during the last thirty or forty years, has 
produced some of the most remarkable cases of insanity 
of which there is any mention in histoiy. For instance, 
there was the Baldwin case, in Ohio, twenty-two years 
ago. Baldwin, from his boyhood up, had been of a vin- 
dictive, malignant, quarrelsome nature. He put a boy's 
eye out once, and never was heard upon any occasion to 
utter a regret for it He did many such things. But at 
last he did something that was serious. He called at a 
house just after dark, one evening, knocked, and when 
the occupant came to the door, shot him dead, and then 
tried to escape, but was captured. Two days before, he 
had wantonly insulted a helpless cripple, and the man he 
afterward took swift vengeance upon with an assassin 
bullet had knocked him down. Such was the Baldwin 
case. The trial was long and exciting : the community 
was fearfiilly wrought up. Men said this spitefiil, bad- 
hearted villain had caused grief enough in his time, and 
now he should satisfy the law. But they were mistaken ; 
Baldwin was insane when he did the deed — they had not 
thought of that. By the arguments of counsel it was 
shown that at half-past ten in the moming on the day of 



THE NEW CRIME. 137 

the murder, Baldwin became insane, and remained so 
for eleven hours and a half exactly. This just covered 
the case comfortably, and he was acquitted. Thus, if an 
unthinking and excited community had been listened to 
instead of the arguments of counsel, a poor crazy 
créature would hâve been held to a fearful responsibility 
for a meré freak of madness. Baldwin went clear, and 
although his relatives and friends were naturally incensed 
against the community for their injurions suspicions and 
rcmarks, they said let it go for this time, and did not 
prosecute. The Baldwins were veiy wealthy. This same 
Baldwin had momentary fits of insanity twice afterward, 
and on both occasions killed people he had grudges 
against And on both thèse occasions the circumstances 
of the killing were so aggravated, and the murders so 
secmingly heartless and treacherous, that if Baldwin had 
not been insane he would hâve been hanged without the 
shadow of a doubt. As it was, it required ail his poli- 
tical and family influence to get him clear in one of the 
cases, and cost him not less than 10,000 dollars to get 
clear in the other. One of thèse men he had noto- 
riously been threatening to kill for twelve years. The 
poor créature happened, by the merest pièce of ill-for- 
tune, to come along a dark alley at the very moment 
that Baldwin's insanity came upon him, and so he was 
shot in the back with a gun loaded with slugs. 

Take the case of Lynch Hackett, of Pennsylvania. 
Twice, in public, he attacked a German butcher by the 
name of Bemis Feldner, with a cane, and both times 
Feldner whipped him with his fists. Hackett was a vain^ 
wealthy, violent gentleman, "wYio "ViôÔl \ik& \^<^^^ ^ax^^ 



138 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

family in high esteem, and believed that a révèrent 
respect was due to his great riches. He brooded over the 
shame of his chastisemcnt for two weeks, and then, in a 
momentary fit of insanity, armed himself to the teeth, 
rode into town, waited a couple of hours until he saw 
Feldner coming down the street with his wife on his 
arm, and then, as the couple passed the doorway in which 
he had partially concealed himself, he drove a knife into 
Feldner*s neck, killing him instantly. The widow caught 
the limp form and eased it to the earth. Both were 
drenched with blood. Hackett jocosely remarked to hcr 
that as a professional butcher's récent wife she could 
appreciate the artistic neatness of the job that left her in 
a condition to marry again, in case she wanted to. This 
remark, and another which he made to a friend, that his 
position in society made the killing of an obscure citizen 
simply an " eccentricity " instead of a crime, were shown 
to be évidences of insanity, and so Hackett escaped 
punishment The jury were hardly inclined to accept 
thèse as proofs, at first, inasmuch as the prisoner had 
never been insane before the murder, and under the 
tranquillizing effect of the butchering had immediately 
regained his right mind ; but when the defence came to 
show that a third cousin of Hackett's wife's stepfather was 
insane, and not only insane, but had a nose the very 
counterpart of Hackett's, it was plain that insanity was 
hereditaiy in the family, and Hackett had come by it by 
legitimate inheritance. Of course the jury then acquitted 
him. But it was a merciful providence that Mrs. H.'s 
people had been afflicted as shown, else Hackett would 
certainly hâve been hanged. 



THE NEW CRIME, I39 

However, it is not possible to recount ail the marvel- 
lous cases of insanity that hâve come under the public 
notice in the last thirty or fbrty years. There was the 
Duigin case in New Jersey three years ago. The servant 
girl, Bridget Duigin, at dëad of night, invaded her 
mistress* bedroom and carved the lady literally to pièces 
with a knifei Then she dragged the body to the roiddle 
of the âoor, and beat and banged it with chairs and soch 
things. Next she opened the feather beds, and strewed 
the contents aronnd, saturated everything with kerosine, 
and set fire to the gênerai wreck. She now took up the 
yoimgchild of the mnrdered woman in her blood-smeared 
hands, and walked off, through the snow, with no shoes 
on, to a neighbour's house a quarter of a mile off, and 
toki a string of wild, incohérent stories about some men 
coming and setting fire to the house ; and then she cried 
piteottSly, and without seeming to think there was any- 
thing suggestive about the blood upon her hands, her 
clothing, and the baby, volunteered the remark that she 
was afraid those men had murdered her mistress I After- 
ward, by her own confession and other testimony, it was 
proved that the mistress had always been kind to the 
gîrl, conscquently there was no revenge in the murder ; 
and it was also shown that the girl took nothing away 
from the buming house, not even her own shoes, and 
consequently robbery was not the motive. Now, the 
reader says, ^' Hère cornes that same old plea of insanity 
again.'' But the reader has deceived himself this time. 
No such plea was oflfered in her defence. The judge 
tènteticed her, nobody perseouted the Governor witK 
>etitions for her pardon andabft''was^TCPCDL^'Ccî\i3M^^ 



I40 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

There was that youth in Pennsylvania, whose curious 
confession was published a year ago. It was simply a 
conglomeration of incohérent drivel from beginning to 
end, and so was his lengthy speech on the scaflfold after- 
ward. For a whole year he*was haunted with a désire to 
disfigure a certain young woman, so that no one would 
marry her. He did not love her himself, and did not 
want to marry her, but he did not want anybody else to 
do it. He would not go anywhere with her, and yet was 
opposed to anybody else*s escorting her. Upon one 
occasion he decUned to go to a wedding with her, and 
when she got other company, lay in wait for the couple 
by the road, intending to make them go back or kill the 
escort After spending sleepless nights over his ruling 
désire for a fuU year, he at last attempted its exécution — 
that is, attempted to disfigure the young woman. It was 
a success. It was permanent In trying to shoot her 
cheek (as she sat at the supper table with her parents 
and brothers and sisters) in such a manner as to mar its 
comeliness, one of his bullets wandered a little out of 
the course, and she dropped dead. To the very last 
moment of his life he bewailed the ill luck that made her 
move her face just at the critical moment And so he 
died, apparently about half persuaded that somehow it 
was chiefly her own fault that she got killed. This idiot 
was hanged. The plea of insanity was not offered. 

Insanity certainly is on the increase in the world, and 
crime is dying out. There are no longer any murders — 
none worth mentioning, at any rate. Formerly, if you 
killed a man, it was possible that you were insane — but 
now, if you, having friends and money, kill a man it is 



THE NEW CRIME. \^\ 

évidence that you are a lunatic. In thèse days, too, if a 
person of good family and high social standing steals 
anything, they call it kleptomania^ and send him to the 
lunatic asylum. If a person of high standing squanders 
his fortune iri dissipation, and closes his career with 
strychnine or a buUet, " Temporaiy Aberration " is what 
was the trouble with him, 

Is not this insanity plea becoming rather common ? Is 
it not so common that the reader confidently expects 
to see it offered in every criminal case that cornes before 
the courts ? And is it not so cheap, and so common, 
and often so trivial, that the reader smiles in dérision 
when the newspaper mentions it ? And is it not curions 
to note how veiy often it wins acquittai for the prisoner ? 
Lately it does not seem possible for a man to so conduct 
himself, before killing another man, as not to be mani- 
festly insane. If he talks about the stars, he is insane. If 
he appears nervous and uneasy an hour before the killing, 
he is insane. If he weeps over a great grief, his friends 
shake their heads, and fear that he is " not right." If, an 
hour after the murder, he seems ill at ease, pre-occupied 
and excited, he is unquestionably insane. 

Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, 
but a law against insanity. There is where the true evil 
lies. 



LIONIZING MURDERERS. 

I HAD heard so much about the celebrated fortune- 

teller, Madame , that I went to see her yesterday. 

Sbe bas a dark complexîon naturally, and tbîs efifect is 
beightened by artiûcial aids whîcb cost ber nothing. 
Sbe wears curls — ^very black ones, and I bad an impres- 
sion tbat sbe gave tbeir native attractiveness a lift witb 
rancid butter. Sbe wears a reddisb cbeck bandkercbief, 
cast loosely around ber neck, and it was plain tbat ber 
Qtber one is slow getting back from tbe wasb. I pré- 
sume sbe takes snuff. At any rate, sometbing resem- 
bling it bad lodged among tbe bairs sprouting from ber 
upper lip. I know sbe likes garlic — I knew tbat as 
soon as sbe sighed. Sbe looked at me searcbingly for 
nearly a minute, witb ber black eyes, and tben said — 

" It is enougb. Come ! '* 

Sbe siarted down a very dark and dismal corridor. I 
stepping close after ber. Presently sbe stopped, and 
said that, as tbe way was crooked and so dark, perbaps 
sbe bad better get a ligbt. But it seemed ungallant to 
allow a woman to put herself to so mucb trouble for 
me, and so I said — 

" It is not wortb wbile, madam. If you will beave 
anoïher sigYi, I tbink I can follow it" 



LIONIZING MURDERERS. 143 

So we got along ail right Arrived her officiai and 
mysterious den, she asked me to tell her the date of my 
birth, the exact hour c^ that occurrence, and the colour 
of my grandmother's hah:. I answered as accurately as I 
could. Then she sald — 

" Young man, summon your fortitude — do not tremble. 
I am about to reveal the past." 

"Information conceming ^ç^ future would be, in a 
gênerai way, more " 

** Silence ! You haye had much trouble, some joy, 
some good fortune, some bad. Your great grandfather 
was hanged." 

" That is a 1—" 

"Silence! Hanged, sir. But it was not his fault. 
He could not help if 

" I am glad you do him justice." 

•*Ah — grieve, rather, that the jury did. He was 
hanged. His star crosses yours in the fourth division, 
fifth sphère. Consequently you will be hanged also." 

** In view of this cheerful " 

"I must hâve silence. Yours was not, in the be- 
ginning, a criminal nature, but circumstances changed it. 
At the âge of nine you stole sugar. At the âge of fifteen 
you stole money. At twenty you stole horses. At 
twenty-five you committed arson. At thirty, hardened 
in qime, you became an editor. You are now a public 
lecturen Worse things are in store for you. You will 
be sent to Congress. Next, to the penitentiary. Finally, 
happiness will come again — ail will be well — you will 
be hanged." 

I was now in tpars. It seemed Vvajtà. ^ucsn^^^x.^ ^IS^ ^-^ 



144 MARK TWAIirS SKETCHES, 

Congress; but to be hanged — this was too sad, too 
dreadful. The woman seemed surprised at my grief. I 
told her the thoughts that were in my mind. Then she 
comforted me. 

"Why, man,"* she said, "hold up your \it2ià—you 

* In this paragraph the fortune-teller détails the exact history of 
the Pike-Brown assassination case in New Hampshîre, from the suc- 
couring and saving of the stranger Pike by the Browns, to the sub- 
séquent hanging and coffining of that treacherous miscreant. She 
adds nothing, invents nothing, exaggerates nothing (see any New 
Ejigland paper for November, 1869). This Pike-Brown case is 
selected merely as a type, to illustrate a custom that prevails, not in 
New Hampshire alone, but in every State in the union, — I mean 
the sentimental custom of visiting, petting, glorifying, and snuffling 
over murderers like this Pike, from the day they enter the jail under 
sentence of death until they swing from the gallows. The following 
extract from Ttmple Bar (1866) reveals the fact that this custom is 
not confined to the United States :— " On December 3ist, 1841,: a 
man named John Johnes, a shoemaker, murdered his sweetheart, 
Mary Hallam, the daughter of a respectable labourer, at Mansfield, 
in the county of Nottingham. He was executed on March 23rd, 
1842. He was a man of unsteady habits, and gave way to violent 
fits of passion. The girl declined his addresses, and he said if he 
did not hâve her no one else should. After he had inflicted the 
first wound, which was not immediately fatal, she begged for her 
life, but seeing him resolved, asked for time to pray. He said that 
he would pray for both, and completed the crime. The wounds 
were inflicted by a shoemaker's knife, and her throat was eut bar- 
barously. After this he dropped on his knees some time, and prayed 
God to hâve mercy on two unfortunate lovers. He made no attempt 
to escape, and confessed the crime. Afler his imprisonment he 
behaved in the most decorous manner; he won upon the good 
opinion of the jail chaplain, and he was visited by the Bishop bf 
Lincoln. It does not appear that he expressed any contrition fot 
the crime, bat seemed to pass away with triomphant certaînty that 



LIONIZING MURDERERS, 145 

hâve nothing to grieve about. Listen. You will live 
in New Hampshire. In your sharp need and distress 
the Brown family will succour you — such of them as 
Pike the assassin left alive. They will be benefactors to 
you. When you shall hâve grown fat upon their bounty, 
and are grateful and happy, you will désire to make some 
modest retum for thèse things, and so you will go to the 
house some night and brain the whole family with an 
axe. You will rob the dead bodies of your benefactors, 
and disburse your gains in riotous living among the 
rowdies and courtesans of Boston. Then you will be 
arrested, tried, condemned to be hanged, thrown into 
prison. Now is your happy day. You will be converted 
— ^you will be converted just as soon as every effort to 
compass pardon, commutation, or reprieve has failed — 
and then ! Why, then, every morning and every after- 
noony the best and purest young ladies of the village 
will assemble in your cell and sing hymns. This will 
show that assassination is respectable. Then you will 
Write a touching letter, in which you will forgive ail those 
récent Browns. This will excite the public admiration. 
No public can withstand magnanimity. Next, they will 
take you to the scaffold, with great klat^ at the head of 
an imposing procession composed of clergymen, officiais, 
citizens generally, and young ladies walking pensively 
two and two, and bearing bouquets and immortelles. 
You will mount the scaffold, and while the great con- 

he was going to rejoin his victîm in heaven. He was xnsited hy some 
piom and benevoUnt ladies of Nottingham^ some of whom declared he 
was a chUd of God, if ever there was âne, One of the ladies sent him 
a wkite eamellia to wear at his exeeution^'^ 

y;. 



146 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

course stand uncovered in your présence, you will read 
your sappy little speech which the minister has written 
for you. And then, in the midst of a grand and impres^ 

sive silence, they will swing you into per Faradise^ 

my son. There will not be a dry eye on the ground. 
You will be a hero ! Not a rough there but will envy 
you. Not a rough there but will résolve to emulate 
you. And next, a great procession will follow you to 
the tomb— will weep over your remains — the young 
ladies will sing again the hymns made dear by sweet 
associations connected with the jail, and, as a last 
txibute of affection, respect, and appréciation of your 
tnany sterling qualities, they will walk two and two 
around yoiw bier, and strew wreaths of flowers on it. 
And lo ! you are canonized. Think of it, son— ingrate^ 
assassin, robber of the dead, drunken brawler among 
thieves and harlots in the slums of Boston one month, 
and the pet of the pure and innocent daughters of the 
land the ntxt ! A bloody and hatéful devil — a bewept, 
bewailed, and sainted martyr — ail in a month ! Fool ! 
«— so noble a fortune, and yet you sit hère grieving ! ** 

"No, madame," I said, "you do me wrong, you 
do indeed. I am perfectly satisfied. I did not know 
before that my great-grandfather was hanged, but it is of 
no conséquence. He has probably ceased to bother 
about it by this time — and I hâve not commenced yet. 
I confess, madam, that I do something in the way of 
editing and lecturing, but the other crimes you mention 
hâve escaped my memoiy. Yet I must hâve committed 
them — you would not deceive an orphan. But let the 
psLst'be, as it was, and let the future be as it may — 



LIONIZING MURDERERS. 147 

thèse are nothing. I hâve only cared for one thing. I 
hâve always felt that I should be hanged some day, and 
somehow the thought has annoyed me considerably ; but 
if you can only assure me that I shall be hanged in New 
Hampshire ^*' 

" Not a shadow of a doubt ! " 

" Bless you, my benefactress ! — excuse this embrace — 
you hâve removed a great load from my breast To be 
hanged in New Hampshire is happiness — it leaves an 
honoured name behind a man, and introduces.him at once 
into the best New Hampshire society in thè oth«r world." 

I then took leave of the fortune-teller. But seriously, 
is it well to glorify a murderous villain on the scafFold, as 
Pike was glorified in New Hampshire ? Is it well to 
tum the penalty for a bloody crime into a reward ? Is 
it just to do it ? Is it safe ? 



-«L •! 



MENTAL PHOTOGRAPHS. 

I HAVE received from the publishers, New York, a 
neatly printed page of questions, with bU^ks for answers» 
and am requested to fill those blanks. Thèse questions 
are so arrangea as to ferret out the most secret points of 
a man's nature without his ever noticing what the idca is 
until it is ail done and his "character" gone for ever. 
A number of thèse sheets are bound together and called 
a Mental Photograph Album. Nothing could induce me 
to fill those blanks but the asseveration of my pastor that 
it will benefit my race by enabling young people to see 
what I am, and giving them an opportunity to become 
like somebody else. This overcomes my scruples. I 
hâve but little character, but what I hâve I am willing 
to part with for the public good. I do not boast of this 
character, further than that I built it up by myself, at 
odd hours, during the last thirty years, and without other 
educational aid than I was able to pick up in the ordi- 
nary schools and collèges. I hâve fiUed the blanks as 
foUows : 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE 

Colour ? — Anything but dun. 

Flower ? — The night-blooming Sinus.* 

* l^frantyou this is a little obscure — but in explaining to the un- 
fortunate that Sinus is the dog-star and VAoorcvà ouV^.al ni^l^t, I am 



\ 



MENTAL PHOTOGRAPHS, 149 

Tree ? — Any that bears forbidden fruit. 

Object in Nature ? — A dumb belle. 

Hour in the Day? — The leisure hour. 

Perfume ? — Cent per cent. 

Gem? — The Jack of Diamonds, when it is tramp. 

Style of Beauty? — The Subscriber's. 

Names, Maie and Female ? — AT aimez (Maimie) for a 
f emale, and Tacus and Marius for maies. 

Painters ? — Sign-painters. 

Pièce of Sculpture ? — The Greek Slave, with his hod. 

Poet? — Robert Browning, when he has a lucid 
interval. 

Poetess ?— Timothy Titcomb. 

Prose Author? — Noah Webster, LL.D. 

Characters in Romance ? — The Napoléon Family. 
;In History? — King Herod. 

Book to take up for an hour? — Rothschild's pocket- 
book. 

What book (not religions) would you part with last ? — 
The one I might happen to be reading on a railroad 
during the disaster season. 

What epoch would you choose to hâve iived in? — 
Before the présent Erie — it was safer. 

Where would you like to live ? — In the moon, because 
there is no water there. 

Favoiurite Amusement ? — Hunting the ** liger," or some 
kindred game. 

Favourite Occupation ? — " Like dew on the gowan— 
lying." 

afibrded an opportunity to air my eruditioiu [It ^& ^\i?i \a^sèc\ 
acquired.3 



ISO MARK TWAIN" S SKETCHES. 

AVhat trait of Chamcter do you most admire in man? 
— The noblest form of cannibalism — love for his fellow- 
man. 

In Woman ? — Love for her fellow-maiL 

\Vhat trait do you most detest in each? — ^That "trait" 
which you put " or " to to describe its possessor.* 

If not yourself, who would you rather be ? — ^The Wan- 
dering Jew, with a nice annuity. 

What is your idea of Happiness ? — Finding the buttons 
ail on. 

Your idea of Misery? — Breakmg an egg in your 
pocket. 

What is your btU noire ? — [What is my which ?] 

What is your Dream? — Nightmare, as a gênerai thing. 

What do you most dread ? — Exposure. 

What do you believe to be your Distinguishing Cha- 
racteristic ? — Hunger. 

What is the Sublimest Passion of which human nature 
is capable? — Loving your sweetheart's enemies. 

What are the Sweetest Words in the world? — "Not 
Guilty." 

What are the Saddest?— " Dust unto dust" 

What is your Aim in Life ? — To endeavour to be ab- 
sent when my time comes. 

What is your Motto? — Be virtuous and you will be 
eccentric. 

* I hâve to explain it every single time — ** Trait-or." I should 
think a fine, cultivated intellect might guess that without any help.] 



A DECEPTION. 

You may remember that I lectured lately for the 
young gentlemen of the Clayonian Society ? During the 
aftemoon of that day I was talking with one of the 
young gentlemen referred to, and he said he had an 
uncle who, from some cause or other, seemed to hâve 
grown permanently bereft of ail émotion. And with 
tears in his eyes this young man said — 

** Oh, if I could only see him laugh once more ! Oh, 
if I could only see him weep ! " 

I was touched. I could never withstand distrcss, I 
said — 
" Bring him to my lecture. l'il start him for you»*' 
** Oh, if you could but do it ! If you could but do ît^ 
ail our family would bless you for evermore — ^for he is 
very dear to us. Oh, my benefactor, can you make him 
laugh? can you bring soothing tears to those parched 
orbs?" 
I was profoundly moved. I said — 
*^ My. son, bring the old party around. I hâve got 
somejokes in my lecture that will make him laugh if 
there is any laugh in him ; and if they miss fire I hâve 
got some others that'll make him cry or kill him, one ot 
the other." 



152 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES. 

Then the young man wept on my neck, and presently 
spread both hands on my head and looked up toward 
heaven, mumbling something reverently, and then he 
went after his uncle. He placed him in full view, in the 
second row of benches, that night, and I began on him. 
I tried him with mild jokes ; then with severe ones ; I 
dosed him with bad jokes, and riddled him with good 
ones ; I fired old stale jokes into him, and peppered him 
fore and aft with red-hot new ones. I warmed up to my 
work, and assaulted him on the right and left, in front 
and behind; I fumed, and charged, and ranted, till I 
was hoarse and sick, and frantic and furious ; but I never 
moved him once — I never started a smile or a tear l 
Never a ghost of a smile, and never a suspicion of 
moisture ! I was astounded. I closed the lecture at 
last with one despairing shriek — with one wild burst of 
humour — and hurled a joke of supematural atrocity full 
at him. It never phased him ! Then I sat down be- 
wildered and exhausted. 

The Président of the society came up and bathed my 
head with cold water, and said — 

" What made you carry on so toward the last ? *' 

I said, **I was trying to make that confounded old 
idiot laugh, in the second row." 

And he said, "Well, you were wasting your time — 
because he is deaf and dumb, and as blind as a badger." 

Now was that any way for that old man's nephew to 
impose on a stranger and an orphan like me ? 



A PAGE FROM A CALIFORNIAN 

ALMANAC. 

At the instance of several friends who feel a boding 
anxiety to know beforehand what sort of phenomena we 
may expect the éléments to exhibit during the next 
month or two, and who hâve lost ail confidence in the 
varions patent-medicine almanacks, because of the un- 
accoimtable réticence of those works conceming the 
extraordinary event of the 8th inst., I hâve compiled the 
foUowing almanack expressly for the latitude of San 
Francisco : — 

Od, 17. — ^Weather hazy ; atmosphère murkyand dense. 
An expression of profound melancholy will be observa- 
ble upon most countenances. 

Oct, 18. — Slight earthquake. Countenances grow 
more melancholy. 

Oct. 19. — Look out for rain. It would be absurd to 
look in for it The gênerai dépression of spirits 
increased. 

Od. 20. — More weather. 

Od. 21. — Same. 

Od, 22. — Light winds, perhaps. If they blow, it will 
be from the " east'ard, or the nor*ard, or the west'ard, or 
the south'ard/* or from some gervttaX ^\xçiOL\WL ^:^'^x^'ibkr 



154 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

matmg more or less to thèse points of the compass or 
olherwise. Winds are uncertain. 

Oct. 23. — Mild, balmy earthquakes. 

Oct 24. — Shaky. 

Oct 25. — Occasional shakes, foUowed by light showers 
of bricks and plastering. N.B. — Stand from under I 

Oct. 26. — Considérable phénoménal atmospheric fool- 
ishness. About this time expect more earthquakes ; but 
do not look for them, on account of the bricks. 

Oct. 27. — Universal despondency, indicative of ap- 
proaching disaster. Abstain from smiling, or indulgence 
in humorous conversation or exasperating jokes. 

Oct, 28. — Misery, dismal forebodings, and despair. 
Beware of ail light discourse — a joke uttered at this time 
would produce a popular outbreak. 

Oct. 29. — Beware ! 

Oct, 30. — Keep dark I 

Oct, 31. — Stand by for a surge ! 

Nov. I. — Terrifie earthquake. This is the great earth- 
quake month. More stars fall and more worlds are shied 
aroxmd carelessly and destroyed in November than in 
any other month of the twelve. 

Nav, 2. — Spasmodic but exhilarating earthquakes, 
accompanied by occasional showers of rain and churches 
and things. 

Nov. 3. — Make your will. 

Nov. 4. — Sell out, 

Nov. 5. — Select your " last words." Those of John 
Quincy Adams will do, with the addition of a syllable, 
thus : " This is the last of earth-quakes." 

Ji^» 6, — ^Prépare to shed this mortal coil. 



A CALIFORNIAN ALMANAC. 155 

Nav, 7.— Shed ! 

Nov. 8. — ^The sun will rise as usual, perhaps ; but, if 
he does/he will doubtless be sfaggered somewhat to find 
nothing but a large round hole eight thousand miles in 
diameter in the place where he saw this world serenely 
spinning the day before. 



MY WATCH— AN INSTRUCTIVE LITTLE 

TALE. 

My beautiful new watch had run eighteen months 
without losing or gaining, and without breaking any part 
of its machinery or stopping. I had corne to believe it 
infallible in its judgments about the time of day, and tô 
consider its constitution and its anatomy imperishable. 
But at last, one night, I let it run down. I grieved 
about it as if it were a recognised messenger and forè- 
nmner of calamity. But by-and-by I cheered up, set 
the watch by guess, and commanded my bodings and 
superstitions to départ. Next day I stepped into the 
chief jeweller's to set it by the exact time, and the head 
of the establishment took it out of my hand and pro- 
ceeded to set it for me. Then he said, " She is four 
minutes slow — regulator wants pushing up." I tried to 
stop him — tried to make him understand that the watch 
kept perfect time. But no; ail this human cabbage 
could see was that the watch was four minutes slow, and 
the regulator must be pushed up a little ; and so, while 
I danced around him in anguish, and beseeched him to 
let the watch alone, he calmly and cruelly did the shameful 
deed. My watch began to gain. It gained faster and 
fastcr day by day. Within Xixt "week \l sicketved to a 



AN INSTRUCTIVE LITTLE TALE. 157 

raging fever, and its puise went up to a hundred and 
fifty in the shade. At the end of two months it had 
left ail the timepieces of the town far in the rear, and 
was a fraction over thirteen days ahead of the almanac, 
It was away into November enjoying the snow, while the 
October leaves were still tuming. It hurried up house- 
rent, bills payable, and such things, in such a ruinous 
way that I could not abide it I took it to the watch- 
maker to be regulated. He asked me if I had ever had 
it repaired. I said no, it had never needed any repair- 
ing. He looked a look of vicions happiness and 
eagerly pried the watch open, and then put a small dice 
box into his eye and peered into its machinery. He said 
it wanted cleaning and oiling, besides regulating — corne 
in a week. After being cleaned, and oiled, and regu- 
lated, my watch slowed down to that degree that it 
ticked like a tolling bell. I began to be left by 
trains, I failed ail appointments, I got to missing my 
dinner ; my watch strung out three days' grâce to 
four and let me go to protest ; I gradually drifted 
back into yesterday, . then day before, then into last 
week, and by-and-by the compréhension came upon 
me that ail solitary and alone I was lingering along 
in week before last, and the world was out of 
sight I seemed to detect in myself a sort of sneaking 
fellow-feeling for the mummy in the muséum, and a 
désire to swap news with him. I went to a watchmaker 
^ain. He took the watch ail to pièces while I waited, 
and then said the barrel was " swelled." He said he 
could reduce it in three days. After Ais the watch 
averaged well, but nothing mote. ¥ot VAl ^ ^«^^ *^ 



158 MARK TWAIN" S SKETCHES. 

would go like the very mischief, and keep up such a 
baxking and wheezing^ and whooping and sneezing and 
snorting, that I could not hear myself thînk for the 
dîsturbance ; and as long as it held out there was not a 
watch in the land that stood any chance against. it 
But the rest of the day it would keep on slowing down 
and fooling along until ail the clocks it had left behind 
caught up again. So at last, at the end of twenty-foui* 
hours, it would trot up to the judges' stand ail right and 
just in time. It would show a fair and square average, 
and no man could say it had done more or less than its 
duty. But a correct average is only a mild virtue in a 
watch, and I took this instrument to another watch- 
maker. He said the kingbolt was broken. I said I 
was glad it was nothing more serions. To tell the 
plain truth, I had no idea what the kingbolt was, 
but I did not choose to appear ignorant to a stranger. 
He repaired the kingbolt, but what the watch gained 
in one way it lost in another. It would run awhile 
and then stop a while, and then run a while again, 
and so on, using its own discrétion about the inter- 
vais. And every time it went oflf it kicked back like 
a musket I padded my breast for a few days, but 
finally took the watch to another watchmaker. He 
picked it ail to pièces, and tumed the ruin over and over 
under his glass ; and then he said there appeared to be 
something Ae matter with the hair-trigger. He fixed it, 
and gave it a fresh start It did well now, excèpt that 
always at ten minutes to ten the hands would shut 
togéther like a pair of scissors, and from that time fôrth 
they would travel togéther. The oldqst n\an in thé 



AN INSTRUCTIVE LITTLE TALE, 159 

world could not make head or tail of the time of day by 
such a watch, and so I went again to hâve the thing 
repaired. This person said that the crystal had got 
bent, and that the maînspring was not straight He 
also remarked that part of the works needed half-soling. 
He made thèse things ail right, and then my timepiece 
performed unexceptionably, save that now and then, after 
working along quietly for nearly eight hours, everything 
inside would let go ail of a sudden and begin to buzz 
like a bee, and the hands would straightway begin 
to spin round and round so fast that their mdividuality 
was lost completely, and they simply seemed a dehcate 
spider's web over the face of the watch. She would 
réel oflf the next twenty-four hours in six or seven 
minutes^ and then stop with a bang. I went with 
a heavy heart to one more watchmaker, and looked on 
while he took her to pièces. Then I prepared to cross- 
question him rigidly, for this thing was getting serions. 
The watch had cost two hundred dollars originally, and 
I seemed to hâve paid out two or three thousand 
for repairs. While I waited and looked on I presently 
recognised in this watchmaker an old acquaintance — ^a 
steamboat engineer of other days, and not a good en- 
gineer either. He examined ail the parts carefuUy, just 
as the other watchmakers had done, and then delivered 
his verdict with the same confidence of manner, 

He said — 

" She makes too much steam — ^you want to hang the 
monkey-wrench on the safety-valve ! ** 

I brained him on the spot, and had him buried at my 
own expense. 



i6o MARK TWAIirS SKETCHES. 

My uncle William (now deceased, alas !) used to say 
that a good horse was a good horse until it had run 
away once, and that a good watch was a good watch 
until the repairers got a chance at it And he used 
to wonder what became of ail the unsuccessful tinkers, 
and gunsmiths, and shoemakers^ and blacksmiths ; but 
nobody could ever tell him. 



AN ENTERTAINING ARTICLE. 

I TAKE the foUowing paragraph from an article in the 
Boston Advertiser: — 

An English Critic on Mark Twain. — Perhaps the most 
successful flights of the humour of Mark Twain hâve been descrip- 
tions of the persons who did not appreciate his humour at ail. 
We hâve become familiar with the Califomians who were thrilled 
with terror by his burlesque of a newspaper reporteras way of 
telling a story, and we hâve heard of the Pennsylvania clergj- 
man who sadly retumed his "Innocents Abroad" to the book- 
agent with the remark that '* the man who could shed tears over the 
tomb of Adam must be an idiot" But Mark Twain may now add a 
much more glorious instance to his stringof trophies. The Saturday 
Reuiew^ in its number of October 8, reviews his book of travels, 
which has been republished in England, and reviews it seriously, 
We can imagine the delight of the humorist in reading [this tribute 
to his power ; and, indeed, it is so amusing in itself that he can 
hardly do better than reproduce the article in full in his next 
monthly Mentwanda, 

[Publishing the above paragraph thus, gives me a sort 
of authority for reproducing the Saturday Review^s article 
in full in thèse pages. I dearly want to do it, for none 
of the magazine's funny correspondents hâve fumished 
me anything quite as funny as this during the month. If 
I had a cast-iron dog that could ieaA^\&^tL^^<2cy5^- 

Y» 



i62 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCH ES. 

cism and préserve his austerity, I would drive him oflf 
the doorstep. — Editor Memoranda.] 

[From the London Saturday Review.'\ 

REVIEWS OF NEW BOOKS. 

"The Innocents Abroad," A Book of Travels. 
By Mark Twain. 

Lord Macaulay died too soon. We never felt this so 
deeply as when we finished the last chapter of the 
above-named extravagant work. Macaulay died too 
soon, for none but he could mete out complète and 
comprehensive justice to the insolence, the impertinence, 
the presumption, the mendacity, and, above ail, the 
majestic ignorance of this author. 

To say that the "Innocents Abroad" is a curions 
book would be to use the faintest language — ^would be 
to speak of the Matterhom as a neat élévation, or of 
Niagara as being "nice" or "pretty.** "Curions'' is 
too tame a word wherewith to describe the imposing 
insanity of this work. There is no word that is large 
enough or long enough. Let us, therefore, photograph 
a passing glimpse of book and author, and trust the rest 
to the reader. Let the cultivated English student of 
human nature picture to himself this Mark Twain as 
a person capable of doing the following-described things 
— and not only doing them, but with incredible inno- 
cence printing them calmly and tranquilly in a book. 
For instance — 

He States that he entered a hair^dresser^s in Paris to 
get shaved^ and the first " rake " the barber gave with 



AN ENTERTAINING ARTICLE. 163 

his razor it, loosmed hU ^^hide^^ and HfUd him oui of 
the chair. 

This is unquestîonably exaggerated. In Florence he 
was so annoyed by beggars that he prétends to hâve 
seized and eaten one in a frantic spirit of revenge. 
There is, of course no truth in this. He gives at fuU 
length a theatrical programme seventeen or eighteen 
hundred years old, which he professes to hâve found in 
the ruins of the Colisemn among the dirt, and mould, and 
rubbish. It is a sufficient comment upon this statement to 
remark that even a cast-iron programme would not hâve 
lasted so long under such circumstances. In Greece he 
plainly betrays both fright and flight upon one occasion, 
but with firozen eflfrontery puts the latter in this falsely 
tame form : — " We sidUd towards the Piraeus." " Sidled," 
indeed ! He does not hesitate to intimate that at 
Ephesus, when his mule strayed from the proper course, 
he got down, took him imder his arm, carried him to 
the road again, pointed him right, remounted, and 
went to sleep contentedly till it was time to restore the 
beast to the path once more. He states that a growing 
youth among his ship's passengers was in the constant 
habit of appeasing his hunger with soap and oakum 
between meals. In Palestine he tells of ants that came 
eleven miles to spend the summer in the désert and 
brought their provisions with them ; yet he shows by 
his description of the country that the feat was an 
impossibility. He mentions, as if it were the most 
common-place matter, that he eut a Moslem in two in 
broad daylight in Jérusalem with Godfrey de Bouilloxv'^ 
sword, and would hâve shed taot^ \i\oQ^ ij he Ifvaà >vadr 



i64 MARK TIVAIATS SKETCHES. 

a grave-yard of his awn. Thèse statements are unworthy 
a moments attention. Mr. Twain or any other fordgner 
who did such a thing in Jérusalem would be mobbed, 
and would infallibly lose his life. But why go on? 
Why repeat more of his audacious and exaspeiating 
falsehoods? Let us close fittingly with this one: he 
affirms that ^' in the mosque of St Sophia, at Constant!* 
nople I got my feet so stuck up with a complication of 
gums, slime, and gênerai impurity that / ware oui mare 
than iwo thousand pair of bootjacks getting my boots off 
that night, and even then some Christian hide peeled off 
with them.". It is monstrous. Such statements are simply 
lies — ^there is no other name for them. Will the reader 
longer marvel at the brutal ignorance that pervades the 
American nation when we tell him that we are informed 
upon perfectly good authority that this extravagant com* 
pilation of falsehoods, this exhaustless mine of stupendous 
lies, this " Innocents Abroad," has actually been adopted 
by the schools and collèges of several of the States as â 
text-book 1 

But, if his falsehoods are distressing, his innocence 
and his ignorance are enough to make one bum the book 
and despise the author. In one place he was so ap- 
palled at the sudden spectacle of a murdered man, 
unveiled by the moonlight, that he jumped out of 
window, going through sash and ail, and then remarks 
with the most childlike simplicity that he "was not 
scared, but was considerably agitated.'' It puts us out 
of patience to note that the simpleton is densely uncon- 
scious that Lucrezia Borgia ever existed oflf the stage. 
He is vulgarly ignorant of ail foreign languages, but is 



AN ENTERTAINING ARTICLE. 165 

frank enough to criticise the Italians' use of their own 
tongue. He says they spell the name of their great 
painter " Vinci, but pronounce it Vinchy " — and then 
adds with a naïveté possible only to helpless ignorance, 
^^ foreigners always spell better than they pronounce^'* In 
another place he commits the bald absurdity of putting 
the phrase " tare an ouns " into an Italian*s mouth. In 
Rome he unhesitatingly believes the legend that St 
PhiHp Neri's heart was so inflamed with divine love 
that it burst his ribs — believes it wholly because an 
author with a leamed list of university degrees strung 
after his name endorses it — " otherwise," says this gentle 
idiot, "I should hâve felt a curiosity to know what 
Philip had for dinner/' Our author makes a long 
fatiguing joumey to the Grotto del Gane, on purpose to 
test its poisoning powers on a dog — got elaborately 
ready for the experiment, and then discovered that he 
had no dog. A wiser person would hâve kept such a 
thing discreetly to himself, but with this harmless créa- 
ture everything cornes out, He hurts his foot in a rut 
two thousand years old in exhumed Pompeii, and 
presently, when staring at one of the cinder-like corpses 
unearthed in the next square, conceives the idea that 
maybe it is the remaîns of the ancient Street Gommis- 
sioner, and straightway his horror softens down to a 
sort of chirpy contentment with the condition of things. 
In Damascus he visits the well of Ananias, three thou- 
sand years old, and is as surprised and delighted as a 
child to find that the water is " as pure and fresh as if 
the well had been dug yesterday." In the Holy Land Ke. 
gags desperately at the hard Ax^Sûivc ^xA^Oow^'^^îsSsiL^^î^ 



i66 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

names, and finally concludes to call them Baldwinsville, 
Williamsburgh, and so on, "/?r convmience ofspellingr 

We hâve thus spoken freely of this man's stupefyîng 
simpUcity and innocence, but we cannot deal similarly 
with his colossal ignorance. We do not know where to 
begin. And if we knew where to begin, we certainly 
should not know where to leave ofF. We will give one 
spécimen, and one only. He did not know until he got 
to Rome that Michael Angelo was dead! And then, 
instead of crawling away and hiding his shameful igno* 
rance somewhere, he proceeds to express a pious 
grateftil sort of satisfaction that he is gone and out of 
his troubles ! 

No, the reader may seek out the author's exhibitions 
of his uncultivation for himself. The book is absolutely 
dangerous, considering the magnitude and variety of its 
misstatements, and the convincing confidence with 
which they are made. And yet it is a text-book in the 
schools of America ! 

The poor blunderer mouses among the sublime créa- 
tions of the Old Masters, trying to acquire the élégant 
proficiency in art-knowledge which he has a groping sort 
of compréhension is a proper thing for the travelled 
man to be able to display. But what is the manner of 
his study ? And what is the progress he achieves ? To 
what extent does he familiarize himself with the great 
pictures of Italy, and what degree of appréciation does 
he arrive at ? Read : — 

'* When we see a monk going about with a lion and looking up 

into heaven, we know that that is St Mark. When we see a monk 

witb a book and a pen, looking tranqullly uç lo Vifiaveti, trying to 



AN ENTERTAINING ARTICLE. 167 

think of a word, we know that that is St. Matthew. When we see 
a monk sitting on a rock, looking tranquilly up to heaven, with a 
human skull beside him, and without other baggage, we know that 
that is St. Jérôme, because we know that he always went fl3ring 
light in the matter of baggage. When we see other monks looking 
tranquilly up to heaven, but having no trade-mark, we alwa3rs ask 
who those parties are. We do this because we humbly wish to 
leam." 

He then enumerates the thousands and thousands of 
copies of thèse several pictures which he has seen, and 
adds with accustomed simplicity that he feels encou- 
raged to beheve that when he has seen " some more " 
of each, and had a larger expérience, he will eventually 
"begin to take an absorbing interest in them'' — the 
vulgar boor ! 

That we hâve shown this to be a remarkable book we 
think no one will deny. That it is a pemicious book 
to place in the hands ôf the confiding and uninformed 
we think we hâve also shown. That the book is a 
deliberate and wicked création of a diseased mind îs 
apparent upon every page. Having placed ©ur judg- 
ment thus upon record, let us close with what charity 
we can by remarking that even in this volume there is 
some good to be found, for whenever the author talks 
of his own country and lets Europe alone, he never 
fails to make himself interesting, and not only interest- 
ing, but instructive. No one can read without benefit 
his occasional chapters and paragraphs about life in the 
gold and silver mines of Califomia and Nevada ; about 
the Indians of the plains and déserts of the West, and their 
cannibalism; about the rising of vegetables in ke^s q€ ^ssî^ 
powder by the aid of two oï lYiie^ Xjeas^^oit&di^ ^^^iaaûs^ 



• 68 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES. 

about the moving of small farms from place to place at 
night in wheelbarrows to avoîd taxes ; and about a sort 
of cows and mules in the Humboldt mines that climb 
down chimneys and disturb the people at night Thèse 
matters are not only new, but are well worth knowing.* 
It is a pity the author did not put in more of the same 
kind. His book is well written and is exceedingly en- 
tertaming, and so it just barely escaped being quite 
valuable also. 

• Yes, I calculate they were pretty new. I invented them my- 
self.— Mark Twain. 



[Note. — The reader hardly needs to be told that the above is not 
a conscientious reproduction of the Saiurday jRevietu's article. It is 
only a burlesque of it. The original review is very readable, and 
would be inserted hère but for the fact that it is marred by gramma- 
tical lapses and inelegancies of speech, which cannot, with pro- 
priety, be placed before a refined audience.] 



MAP OF PARIS. 

TO THE READER. 

The accompanying map explains itsel£ 

The idea of this map is not original with me, but îs 
borrowed from the great metropolitan joumals. 

I claim no other ment for this production (if I may 
so call it) than that it is accurate. The main blemish of 
the city paper maps, of which it is an imitation, is, that 
in them more attention seems paid to artistic pic- 
turesqueness than geographical reliability. 

Inasmuch as this is the first time I ever tried to draft 
and engrave a map, or attempt anything in the line of 
art at ail, the commendations the work has received, and 
the admiration it has excited among the people, hâve 
been very grateful to my feelings. And it is touching to 
reflect that by far the most enthusiastic of thèse praises 
hâve come from people who know nothing at ail about 
art. 

By an unimportant oversight I hâve engraved the map 
so that it reads wrong end first, except to left-handed 
people. I forgot that in order to make it right in print 
it should be drawn and engraved upside down. How- 
ever, let the student who désires to coxiX<tTK^'aX^'^^'«!a^ 



MARK TWMN-S SKETCHES. 




MAP OF PARIS. 171 

stand on his head or hold it before a looking-glass. 
That will bring it right. ;: 

The reader will comprehend at a glance that that 
pièce of river with the " High Bridge *' over it got left 
eut to one side by reason of a slip of the graving-tool, 
which rendered it necessary to change the entire course 
of the River Rhine, or else spoil the map. After having 
spent two days in digging and gouging at the map, I 
would hâve changed the course of the Atlantic Océan 
before I would hâve lost so much work. 

I never had so much trouble with anything in my life 
as I had with this map. I had heaps of little fortifica- 
tions scattered ail around Paris at first, but every now 
and then my instruments would slip and fetch away whole 
miles of batteries, and leave the vicinity as clean as if 
the Prussians had been there. 

The reader will find it well to frame this map for 
future référence, so that it may aid in extending popular 
intelligence, and dispelling the wide-spread ignorance of 
the day. 

Mark Twain. 

Officiai Commendations. 

It is the only map of the kind I ever saw. 

U. S. Grant. 



It places the situation in an entirely new light 

Bismarck. 



I cannot look upon it without shedding tears. 



172 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

It is very nice large print 



Napoléon. 



My wife was for years afflicted with freckles, and, 

though everything was done for her relief that could be 

done, ail was in vain. But, sir, since her first glance at 

your map, they hâve entirely left her. She has nothing 

but convulsions now. 

J. Smith. 

If I had had this map I could hâve got out of .Met2 

without any trouble. 

Bazaine. 



I hâve seen a great many maps in my time, but none 

that this one reminds me of. 

Trochu, 



It is but fair to say that in some respects it is a truly 
remarkable map. 

W. T. Sherman. 



I said to my son Frederick William, ** If you could 
only make a map like that I should be perfectly willing 
to see you die — even anxious." 

William III. 



A GENERAL REPLY. 

EvERY man who becomes editor of a newspaper or 
magazine straîghtway begins to receive MSS. from literary 
aspirants, together with requests that he will deliver 
judgment upon the same ; and, after complying in eight 
or ten instances, he finally takes refuge in a gênerai 
sermon upon the subject, which he inserts in his publica-^ 
tion, and always afterwards refers such correspondents to 
that setmon for answer. I hâve at last reached this 
station in my literary career, and proceed to construct 
my public sermon. 

As ail letters of the sort I am speaking of contain thé 
very same matter, diflferently worded, I ofifer, as a fair 
average spécimen, the last one I hâve received : — 

" , Oct. 3. 

*' Mark IVain, Esq. 

**Dear Sir, — I am a youth just out of school and 
ready to start in life. I hâve looked around, but don't 
see anything that suits exactly. Is a literary life easy and 
profitable, or is it the hard times it is generally put up 
ibr ? It musf be easier than a good many if not most of 
the occupations, and I feel drawn to launch out on it, 
make or break, sink or swim, survive or perish. Now 
what are the conditions of success m V\\«»to«fc^ X^Ni. 



174 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

need not be afraid to paint the thing just as it is. I 
can't do any worse than fail. Everythîng else offers the 
same. When I thought of the law — yes, and five or six 
other professions — I found the same thing was the case 
every time, viz., ail full — overrun — every profession so 
crammed that success is rendered impossible — too many 
hands and not enough work. But I must try something^ 
and so I tum at last to literature. Something tell9 me 
that that is the true bent of my genius, if I hâve any. I 
enclose some of my pièces. Will you read them over 
and give me your candid unbiassed opinion of them ? 
And now I hâte to trouble you, but you hâve been à 
young man yourself, and what I want is for you to get 
me a newspaper job of writing to do. You know many 
newspaper people, and I am entirely unknown. And will 
you make the best terms you can for me ? — ^though I do 
not expect whaf might be called high wages at first, of 
course. Will you candidly say what such articles as thèse 
I enclose are worth ? I hâve plenty of them. If you 
should sell thèse and let me know, I can send you more 
as good and may be better than thèse. An early reply, 
etc. 

" Yours truly, etc." 

I will answer you in good Êiith. Whether my remarks 
shall hâve great value or not, or my suggestions be worth 
following, are problems which I take great pleasure în 
leaving entirely to you for solution. To begin : There 
are several questions in your letter which only a m^'s Hfe 
expérience can eventually answer for him— not anotbet 
joan's words^ I will simply skip those. 



A GENERAL REPLY. 175 

1. Literature, like the ministry, medicine, the law, and 
ail oiher occupations, is cramped and hindered for want 
of men to do the work, not want of work to do. When 
people tell you the reverse, they speak that which is not 
true. If you désire to test this, you need only hunt up a 
first-class editor, reporter, business manager, forCman of a 
shop, mechanic, or artist in any branch of industry, and 
try to hire htm, You will find that he is already hired. 
He is sober, industrious, capable, and reliable, and is 
always in demand. He cannot get a day*s holiday except 
by courtesy of his employer, or of his city, or of the 
great gênerai public. But if you need idlers, shirkers, 
half-instructed, unambitious, and comfort-seeking editors, 
reporters, lawyers, doctors, and mechanics, apply any- 
where. There are millions of them to be had at the 
dropping of a handkerchief. 

2. No ; I must not and will not venture any opinion 
whatever as to the literary merit of your productions. 
The public is the only critic whose judgment is worth 
anything at alL Do not take my poor word for this, but 
reflect a moment and take your own. For instance, i^ 
Sylvanus Cobb or T. S. Arthur had submitted their 
maiden MSS. to you, you would hâve said, with tears in 
your eyes, " Now, please don't write any more ! *' But 
you see yourself how popular they are. And if it had 
been left to you, you would hâve said the " Marble Faun '* 
was tiresome, and that even " Paradise Lost " lacked 
cheerflilness : but you know they selL Many wiser and 
better men than you pooh-poohed Shakespeare even as 
late as two centuries ago, but still that old party has out- 
lived those people. No, I will not sit in iud@XLe\it.>^^XL 



176 MARfC TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

your literature. If I honestly and conscientiously praised 
it, I might thus help to inflîct a lingering and pitiless 
bore upon the. public ; if I honestly and conscientiously 
condemned it, I might thus rob the world of an unde- 
veloped and unsuspected Dickens or Shakespeare. 

3. I shrink from hunting up literary labour for you to 
do and receive pay for. Whenever your literary produc- 
tions hâve proved for themselves that they hâve a real 
value, you will never hâve to go around hunting for re- 
munerarive literary work to do. You will require more 
hands than you hâve now, and more brains than you pro- 
bably ever will hâve, to do even half the work that will 
be oflfered you. Now, in order to arrive at the proof of 
value hereinbefore spoken of, one needs only to adopt a 
very simple and certainly very sure process ; and that is, 
to Write without pay until somehody offers pay. If nobody 
oflfers pay within three years, the candidate may look upon 
this circumstance with the most implicit confidence that 
sawing wood is what he was intended for. If he has any 
wisdom at ail, then he will retire with dignity, and assume 
"bis heaven-appointed vocation. 

In the above remarks I hâve only offered a course of 
action which Mr. Dickens and most other successful lite- 
rary men had to follow ; but it is a course which will find 
no sympathy with my client, perhaps. The young literary 
aspirant is a very, very curious créature. He knows that 
if he wîshed to become a tinner the master smith would 
require him to prove the possession of a good character, 
and would require him to promise to stay in the shop 
three years — possibly four — ^and would make him sweep 
eut and bring water and build fires ail the first year^ and 



A GENERAL REPLY. 177 

let him leam to black stoves în the intervais ; and for 
thèse good honest services would pay him two suits of 
cheap clothes and his board ; and next year he would 
begin to receîve instructions in the trade, and a dollar a 
week would be added to his émoluments ; and two dollars 
would be added the third year, and three the fourth ; and 
ihm^ if he had become a first-rate tinner, he would get 
about fifteen or twenty, or may be thirty dollars a week, 
with never a possibility of getting seventy-five while he 
lived. If he wanted to become a mechanic of any other 
kind he would hâve to undergo this same tedious ill-paid 
apprenticeship. If he wanted to become a lawyer or a 
doctor he would hâve fifty times worse, for he would get 
nothing at ail during his long apprenticeship, and in 
addition would hâve to pay a large sum for tuition, and 
hâve the privilège of boarding and clothing himself. The 
literary aspirant knows ail this, and yet he has the hardi- 
hood to présent himself for réception into the literary 
guild, and ask to share its high honours and émoluments, 
without a single twelvemonth*s apprenticeship to show in 
excuse for his presumption ! He would smile pleasantly 
if he were asked to make even so simple a thing as a ten- 
cent tin dipper without previous instruction in the art ; 
but, ail green and ignorant, wordy, pompously assertive, 
ungrammatical, and with a vague distorted knowledge of 
men and the world acquired in a back country village, 
he will serenely take up so dangerous a weapon as a pen, 
and attack the most formidable subject that finance, com- 
merce, war, or politics can fumish him withal. It would 
be laughable if it were not so sad and so pitiable. The 
poor fellow would not intrude upoti tVvft \.\w ^^^ -^i^^^^^5^. 



178 MARK TWAIlSrS SKETCHES, 

an apprenticeship, but îs willing to seize and wield with 
unpractised hand an instrument which is able to over- 
throw dynasties, change religions, and decree the weal or 
woe of nations. 

If my correspondent will write free of charge for the 
newspapers of his neighbourhood, it will be one of the 
strangest things that ever happened if he does not get ail 
the employment he can attend to on those terms. And 
as soon as ever his writings are worth money plenty of 
people will hasten to offer it 

And, by way of serions and well-meant encouragement, 
I wish to tii;ge upon him once more the truth, that accept- 
able writers for the press are so scarce that book and 
periodical publishers are seeking them constantly, 
and with a vigilance that never grows heedless for a 
moment. 



THE LATE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 

'• [" Never put oflf till to-morrow what you can do day aftcr to- 
morrow just as well." — B. F.] 

This party was one of those persons whom they call 
Philosophers. He was twins, being bom simultaneously 
in two différent houses in the city of Boston. Thèse 
houses remain unto this day, and hâve signs upon them 
worded in accordance with the facts. The signs are con- 
Bidered well enough to hâve, though not necessary, 
because the inhabitants point out the two birth-places to 
the stranger anyhow, and sometimes as often as several 
times in the same day. The subject of this memoir was 
of a vicions disposition, and early prostituted his talents 
to the invention of maxims and aphorisms calcnlated to 
inflict suffering upon the rising génération of ail subsé- 
quent âges. His simplest acts, also, were contrived with 
a view to their being held up for the émulation of boys 
or ever — ^boys who might otherwise hâve been happy. It 
was in this spirit that he became the son of a soap-boiler, 
and probably for no other reason than that the efforts oi 
ail future bo3rs who tried to be anything might be looked 
upon with suspicion unless they wera the sons of soap- 
boilers. With a malevolence which is witho\it ^^^r^SS^iâL 
in history, he would work àU day^ ^jiàùiRîa^vXxs^^KisÊ?^^ 



i8o MARK TWAIJSrS SKETCHES, 

and let on to be studying algebra by the light of a 
smouldering fire, so that ail other boys might hâve to do 
that also, or else hâve Benjamin Franklin thrown up to 
them. Not satisfied with thèse proceedings, he had a 
fashion of living whoUy on bread and water, and studying 
astronomy at meal time — a thing which has brought afflic" 
tion to millions of boys since, whose fathers had read 
Franklin's pemicious biography. 

His maxims were fuU of animosity toward boys. 
Nowadays a boy cannot foUow out a single natural 
instinct without tumbhng over some of those everlasting 
aphorisms and hearing from Franklin on the spot If he 
buys two cents' worth of peanuts, his father says, " Re- 
member what Franklin has said, my son — *A groat a 
day's a penny a year ; ' " and the comfort is ail gone out of 
those peanuts. If he wants to spin his top when he is donc 
work, his father quotes, " Procrastination is the thief of 
time." If he does a virtuous action, he never gets any- 
thing for it, because " Virtue is its own reward." And 
. that boy is hounded to death and robbed of his natural 
rest, because Franklin said once, in one of his inspired 
flights of malignity — 

** Early to bed and early to rise 
Makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise." 

As if it were any object to a boy to be healthy and 
wealthy and wise on such terms. The sorrow that that 
maxim has cost me through my parents' experimenting 
on me with it, tongue cannot tell. The legitimate resuit 
is my présent state of gênerai debility, indigence, and 
mental aberration. My parents uaed to hâve me up be- 



THE LA TE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN i8i 

fore nine o'clock in the morning, sometimes, when I was 
a boy. If they had let me take my natural rest, where 
would I hâve been now ? Keeping store, no doubt, and 
respècted by ail. 

And what an adroit old adventurer the subject of this 
memoir was ! In order to get a chance to fly his kite on 
Sunday he used to hang a key on the string and let on to 
be fishing for lightning. And a guileless public would go 
home chirping about the " wisdom '* and the " genius " o^ 
the hoary Sabbath-breaker. If anybody caught him play- 
ing " mumble-peg " by himself, after the âge of sîxty, he 
would immediately appear to be ciphering out how the 
grass grew — as if it was any of his business. My grand- 
lather knew him well, and he says Franklin was always 
fixed — always ready. If a body, during his old âge, 
happened on him unexpectedly when he was catching 
Aies, or making mud pies, or sliding on a cellar-door, he 
would immediately look wise, and rip out a maxim, and 
walk off with his nose in the air and his cap tumed wrong 
side before, trying to appear absent-minded and eccentric, 
He was a hard lot. 

He invented a stove that would smoke your head off 
in four hours by the clock. One can see the almost 
devilish satisfaction he took in it by his giving it his 
name. . 

He was always proud of telling how he entered Phila- 
delphia for the first time, with nothing in the world but 
two shillings in his pocket and four rolls of bread 
under his arm. But really, when you come to ex- 
amine it critically, it was nothing. Anybody could hâve 
done it. 



i82 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCHES, 

To the subject of this memoir belongs the honour of 
recommending the army to go back to bows and arrows 
in place of bayonets and muskets. He observed, with 
bis customary force, that the bayonet was very well 
under some circumstances, but that he doubted whether 
it could be used with accuracy at long range. 

Benjamin Franklin did a great many notable things for 
his country, and made her young name to be honoured in 
many lands as the mother of such a son. It is not the 
idea of this memoir to ignore that or cover it up. No ; 
the simple idea of it is to snub those prétentions maxims 
of his, which he worked up with a great show of origi- 
nality out of truisms that had become wearisome platî« 
tudes as early as the dispersion from Babel ; and also to 
snub his stove, and his military inspirations, his unseemly 
endeavour to make himself conspicuous when he entered 
Philadelphia, and his flying his kite and fooling away his 
time in ail sorts of such ways when he ought to hâve 
been foraging for soap-fat, or constructing candies. I 
merely desired to do away with somewhat of the préva- 
lent calamitous idea among heads of families that Franklin 
acquired his great genius by working for nothing, studying 
by moonlight, and getting up in the night instead of 
waiting till moming like a Christian ; and that this pro- 
gramme, rigidly inflicted, will make a Franklin of every 
father's fooL It is time thèse gentlemen were finding out 
that thèse exécrable eccentricities of instinct and conduct 
are only the evidenôcs of genius, not the creators of it. I 
wish I had been the father of my parents long enough to 
make them comprehend this truth, and thus prépare them 
ïo Jet their son hâve an easier time of it When I was a 



THE LA TE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 183 

child I had to boil soap, notwitlistanding my father was 
wealthy, and I had to get up early and study geometry at 
breakfast, and peddle my own poetry, and do everything 
just as Franklin did, in the solemn hope that I would be 
a Franklin some day. And hère I am. 



FASHION ITEM. 

The Lieutenant of Marines attends one of General 
Grant's levées, and writes thus instructîvely of it It will 
interest the lady readers of the Galaxy : — 

At General Grant's réception, the other night, the most 
fashionably dressed lady was Mrs. G. G. She wore a 
pink satin dress, plain in front, but with a good deal of 
rake to it— to the train, I mean ; it was said to be two or 
three yards long. One could see it creeping along the 
fioor some little time after the woman was gone. Mrs. G. 
wore also a white bodice, eut bias, with Pompadour 
sleeves, flounced with ruches ; low neck, with the inside 
handkerchief not visible, with white kid gloves. She had 
on a pearl necklace, which glinted lonely, high up the 
midst of that barren waste of neck and shoulders. Her 
hair was frizzled into a tangled chapparel, forward of her 
ears ; aft it was drawn together, and compactly bound and 
plaited into a stump like a pon/s tail, and furthermore 
was canted upward at a sharp angle, and ingeniously sup- 
ported by a red velvet crupper, whose forward extremity 
was made fast with a half-hitch around a hair-pin on the 
top of her head. Her whole top hamper was neat and 
becoming. She had a beautiful complexion when she 
drst came, hut it faded out by degrees in a most un- 



FASHION ITEM, 185 

accountable way. However, it is not lost for good. I 
found the most of it on my shoulder afterward. (I had 
been standing near the door when she had been squeez- 
ing eut with the throng.) There were other fashionable 
ladies présent, of course, but I only took notes of one as 
a spécimen. The subject is one of great interest to 
ladies, and I would gladly enlarge upon it were I able to 
do it justice. 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

" Moral Statistician." — I don*t want any of your 
statistics. I took your whole batch and lit my pipe 
with it I detest your kind of people. You are always 
ciphering out how much a man's health is injured, and 
how much his intellect is impaired, and how many piti- 
ful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety- 
two years* indtdgence in the fatal practice of smoking ; 
and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee ; and 
in playing billiards occasionally ; and in taking a glass 
of wine at dinner, &c. &c. &c. And you are always 
figuring out how many women hâve been bumed to 
death because of the dangerous fashion of wearing ex- 
pansive hoops, &c. &c. &c. You never see more than 
one side of the question. You are blind to the fact that 
most old men in America smoke and drink coffee, 
although, according to your theory, they ought to hâve 
died young ; and that hearty old Englishmen drink wine 
and survive it, and portly old Dutchmen both drink and 
smoke freely, and yet grow older and fatter ail the time. 
And you never try to find out how much solid comfort, 
relaxation, and enjoyment a man dérives firom smoking 
in the course of a lifetime (which is worth ten times the 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 187 

money he would save by letting it alone), nor the appal- 
ling aggregate of happiness lost in a lifetime by your 
kind of people from not smoking. Of course you can 
save money by denying yourself ail those little vicious 
enjoyments for fifty years ; but then what can you do 
with it ? What use can you put it to ? Money can't 
save your infinitésimal soûl. Ail the use that money can 
be put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in this 
life; therefore, as you are an enemy to comfort and 
enjoyment, where is the use in accumulating cash ? It 
won't do for you to say that you can use it to better pur- 
pose in fumishing a good table, and in charities, and in 
supporting tract societies, because you know yourself 
that you people who hâve no petty vices never give away 
a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of 
food that ypu are always feeble and hungry. And you 
never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor 
wretch, seeing you in a good humour, will try to borrow 
a dollar of you; and in church you are always down on 
your knees, with your eyes buried in the cushion, when 
the contribution-box comes around ; and you never give 
the revenue officers a true statement of your income. 
Now you know ail thèse things yourself, don't you ? Very 
well, then, what is the use of your stringing out your 
misérable lives to a lean and withered old âge ? What 
is the use of your saving money that is so worthless to 
you ? In a word, why don't you go off somewhere and 
die, and not be always trying to seduce people into be- 
coming as disagreeable as you are yourselves, by your 
tiresome " moral statistics " ? Now, I don't approve of 
dissipation, and I don't indulg^ m \\. €\!&NKt\>3^ 



i88 MARK TWAIN' S SKETCH ES. 

haven't any confidence in a man who bas no redeeming 
petty vices, and so I don't want to hear firom you any 
more. I think you are the very same man who read me 
a long lecture last week about the degrading vice of 
smoking cigars, and then came back, in my absence, 
with your reprehensible fire-proof gloves on, and carried 
off my beautifiil parlour stove. 



"Simon Wheeler," Sonora, — ^The following simple 
and touching remarks and accompanying poem hâve 
just come to hand from the rich gold-mining région of 
Sonora : — 

** To Mr, Mark Twain : The within parson, which I hâve sot to 
poetry under the name and style of * He Done His Level Best,' was 
one among the whitest men I ever see, and it an't every man that 
knowed him that can find it in his heart to say he*s glad, the poor 
.cuss is busted and gone home to the States. He was hère in an 
early day, and he was the handyest man about takin' holt of any. 
thing that come along you most ever see, I judge. He was a cheer- 
fui, stirrin' cretur*, always doin* something, and no man can say he 
ever see him do anything by halvers. Preachin' was his natural gait, 
but he wam*t a man to lay back and twidle his thums because there 
didn't happen to be nothin' doin' in his own espeshial Une — no, sir, 
he was a man who would meander forth and stir up something for 
hisself. His last acts was to go his pile on ' kings-^tW (calklatin' to 
fil], but which he didn*t fill), when there was a ' flush ' out agin him, 
and naturally, you see, he went under. And so he was cleaned out, 
as you may say, and he struck the home-trail, cheerful but flat broke. 
I knowed this talonted man in Arkansaw, and if you would print 
this humbly tribute to his gorgis abillities, you would greatly obleege 
hîs onhappy ^end. 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 189 

"HE DONE HIS LEVEL BEST. 

Was he mining on the flat — 

He donc it with a zest ; 
Was he a leading of the choir — 

He done his level best. 

If he'd a reg'lar task to do, 

He never took lio rest ; 
Or if 'twas off-and-on — the same — 

He done his level best. 

If he was preachin' on his beat, 

He'd tramp froni east to west. 
And north to south — in cold and heat 

He done his level best. 

• 
He*d yank a sinner outen (Hades),* 

And land him with the blest ; 
Then snatch a prayer 'n waltz in again, 

And do his level best. 

He'd cuss and sing and howl and pray, 

And dance and drink and jest. 
And lie and steal — ail one to him — 

He done his level best. 

Whate'er thîs man was sot to do, 

He done it with a zest ; 
No matter what his contract was, 

He'd do his level best. 

•« October, 1865." 

♦ Hère I hâve taken a slight liberty with the original M S. 
" Hades '' does not make such good mètre as the other word of one 
syllable, but it sounds better* 



190 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

Verily, this man was gifted with " gorgîs abillities," and 
it is a happiness to me to embalm the memory of their 
lustre in thèse columns. If it were not that the poet 
crop is unusually large and rank in Califomia this year, 
I would encourage you to continue writing, Simon ; but 
as it is, perhaps it might be too risky in you to enter 
againBt so much opposition. 



" Professional Beggar." — No ; you are not obliged 
to take greenbacks at par. 



"Arithmeticus," Virginia^ Nevada,'^ ^^\i\\. would take a 
cannon-ball 3J seconds to travel four miles, and 3! seconds to travel 
the next four, and 3I to travel the next four, and if its rate of pro- 
gress continued to diminish in the same ratio, how long would it 
take to go fifteen hupdred millions of miles ?'' 

J don't know. 



" Ambitious Learner," Oakland. — ^Yes, you are right 
— ^America was not discovered by Alexander Selkirk. 



" DisCARDED Lover." — " I loved, and still love, the beautiful 
Edwitha Howard, and intendcd to marry her. Yet, during my tem- 
porary absence at Benicia, last week, alas I she married Jones. Is 
my happiness to be thus blasted for life î Hâve I no redress ?" 

Of course you hâve. AU the law, written and un- 
written, is on your side. The intention and not the act 
constitutes crime — in other words, constitutes the deed. 
If you caU your bosom friend a fool, and intend it for an 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 191 

însult, ît is an însult ; but if you do ît plasrfuUy, and 
meaning no insuit, it is noi an insuit If you discharge a 
pistol accidentally^ and kill a man, you can go free, for you 
hâve done no murder ; but if you try to kill a man, and 
manifestly itiiend to kill him, but fail utterly to do it, the 
law still holds that the intention constituted the crime, 
and you are guilty of murder. Ergo, if you had married 
Edwitha accidentally, and without really intending to do 
it, you would not actually be married to her at ail, be- 
cause the ad of marriage could not be complète without 
the intention. And ergo, in the strict spirit of the law, 
since you deliberately intended to marry Edwitha, and 
didn't do it, you are married to her ail the same — be- 
cause, as I said before, the intention constitutes the crime. 
It is as clear as day that Edwitha is your wife, and your 
redress lies in taking a club and mutilating Jones with it 
as much as you can. Any man has a right to protect 
his own wife from the advances of other men. But you 
hâve another alternative — you were married to Edwitha 
first^ because of your deliberate intention, and now you 
can prosecute her for bigamy, in subsequently marrying 
Jones. But there is another phase in this complicated 
case : You intended to marry Edwitha, and consequently, 
according to law, she is your wife — there is no getting 
around that ; but she didn't marry you, and if she never 
intended to marry you, you are not her husbandy of course. 
Ergo, in marrying Jones, she was guilty of bigamy, be- 
cause she was the wife of another man at the time ; 
which is ail very well as far as it goes — ^but then, don't 
you see, she had no other husband when she married 
Jones, and consequently she was not ^giSiiLt] ^1 Xsvsgoss^. 



192 MARK TlVAIJSrS SKETCHES. 

Now, according to this view of the case, Jones married a 
spinsier, who was a widow at the same time and another 
man's wife at the same time, and yet who had no husband 
and nevet had onCy and never had any intention of getting 
married, and therefore, of course, never hadhttn married ; 
and by the same reasoning you are a bacMor^ because 
you hâve never been any one*s husband; and a married 
man^ because you hâve a wife living ; and to ail intents 
and purposes a widower^ because you hâve been de- 
prived of that wife ; and a consummate ass for going ofF 
to Benicia in the first place, while things were so mixed. 
And by this time I hâve got myself so tangled up in the 
intricacies of this extraordinaiy case that I shall hâve to 
give up any further attempt to advise you — I might get 
confused and fail to make myself understood. I think I 
could take up the argument where I left ofF, and by 
foUowing it closely awhile, perhaps I could prove to youx 
satisfaction, either that you never existed at ail, or that 
you are dead now, and consequently don*t need the 
faithless Edwitha— I think I could do that, if it would 
aflford you any comfort 



" YouNG MoTHER." — ^And so you think a baby îs a 
thing of beauty and a joy for ever? Well, the idea is 
pleasing, but not original ; every cow thinks the same of 
its own calf. Per];iaps the cow may not think it so ele- 
gantly, but still she thinks it, névertheless. I honou^ 
the cow for it We ail honour this touching maternai 
instinct wherever we find it, be it in the home of luxury 
or in tbe humble cow-shed. But really, madam, when I 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 193 

corné to examina the matter in ail its bearings, I find 
that the correctness of your assertion does not manifest 
itself in ail cases. A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, 
cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty ; 
and as inasmuch as babyhood spans but three short 
years, no baby is compétent to be a joy " for ever." It 
pains me thus to demolish two-thirds of your pretty 
sentiment in a single sentence ; but the position I hold 
in this chair requires that I shall not permit you to 
deceive and mislead the public with your plausible 
figures of speech. I know a female baby, aged eighteen 
months, in this city, which cannot hold out as a "joy " 
twenty-four hours on a stretch, let alone "for ever." 
And it possesses some of the most remarkable eccen- 
trieîties of character and appetite that hâve ever fallen 
under my notice. I will set down hère a statement of 
this infanfs opérations (conceived, planned, and carried 
out by itself, and without suggestion or assistance from 
its mother or anyone else), during a single day ; and 
what I shall say can be substantiated by the swom testi- 
mony of witnesses. 

It commenced by eating one dozen large blue-mass 
pills, box and ail ; then it fell down a flight of stairs, and 
arose with a bruised and purple knot on its forehead, 
after which it proceeded in quest of further refreshment 
and amusement. It found a glass trinket omamented 
with brass-work — smashed up and ate the glass, and then 
swallowed the brass. Then it drank about twenty drops 
of laudanum, and more than a dozen tablespoonfiils of 
strong spirits of camphor. The reason why it took no 
more laudanum was because there "wa^ tio tclox^ \a N3ûf&. 



194 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

After this it laid down on its back, and shoved five or 
six inches of a silverheaded whalebone cane down its 
throat ; got it fast there, and it was ail its mother could 
do to pull the cane out again, without puUing out some 
of the child with it Then, being hungry for glass again, 
it broke up several wine-glasses, and fell to eating and 
swallowing the fragments, not minding a eut or two. 
Then it ate a quantity of butter, pepper, sait, and Cali- 
fomia matches, actually taking a spoonful of butter, a 
spoonfiil of sait, a spoonful of pepper, and three or four 
lucifer matches at each mouthful. (I will remark hère 
that this thing of beauty likes painted German lucifers, 
and eats ail she can get of them ; but she infinitely pre- 
fers Califomia matches, which I regard as a compliment 
to our home manufactures of more than ordinary value, 
coming, as it does, from one who is too young to flatter.) 
Then she washed her head with soap and water, and 
afterwards ate what soap was left, and drank as much of 
the suds as she had room for; after which she sallied 
forth and took the cow familiarly by the tail, and got 
kicked heels over head. At odd times during the day, 
when this joy for ever happened to hâve nothing parti- 
cular on hand, she put in the time by climbing up on 
places, and falling down ofif them, uniformly damaging 
herself in the opération. As young as she is, she 
speaks many words tolerably distinctly ; and being plain- 
spoken in other respects, blunt and to the point, she opens 
conversation with ail Etrangers, maie or female, with the 
same formula, "How do, Jim?" Not being familiar 
with the wa)rs of children, it is possible that I hâve been 
mMgnifymg into matter of surprise things which may not 



ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS, 193 

strike anyone who is familiar with infancy as being at ail 
astonishing. However, I cannot believe that such is 
the case, and so I repeat that my report of this baby's 
performances is strictly true ; and if anyone doubts it, I 
can produce the child. I will further engage that she 
will devour anything that is given her (reserving to my- 
self only the right to exclude anvils), and fall down from 
any place to which she may be elevated (merely stipu- 
lating that her préférence for alighting on her head shall 
be respected, and, therefore, that the élévation chosen 
shall be high enough to enable her to accomplish this to 
her satisfaction). But I find I hâve wandered from my 
subject; so, without further argument, I will reiterate 
my conviction that not ail babies are things of beauty 
and joys for ever. 



^ "î. 



LUCRETIA SMITH^S SOLDIER. 

I AM an ardent admirer of those nice, sickly war 
stories which hâve lately been so popular, and for the 
last three months I hâve been at work upon one of that 
character, which is now completed. It can be relied 
upon as true in every particular, inasmuch as the facts it 
contains were compiled from the officiai records in the 
War Department of Washington. It is but just, also, 
tiiat I should conféss that I hâve drawn largely on 
^^JotnMs Art of War** the " Message of the Président 
and Accompanying Documents," and sundry maps and 
military works, so necessary for référence in building a 
novel like this. To the accommodating directors of the 
Overland Telegraph Company I take pleasure in retum- 
ing my thanks for tendering me the use of their wires 
at the customary rates. And finally, to ail those kind 
friends who hâve, by good deeds or encouraging words, 
assisted me in my labours upon this story of " Lucretia 
Smith's Soldier," during the past three months, and whose 
names are too numerous for spécial mention, I take this 
method of tendering my sincerest gratitude. 



LUCRETIA SMITH'S SOLDIER. 197 



CHAPTER I. 

On a balmy May momîng in 1861, the little village of 
Bluemass, in Massachusetts, lay wrapped in the splendour 
of the newiy-risen sun. Reginald de Whittaker, con- 
fidential and only clerk in the house of Bushrod and 
Ferguson, gênerai drygoods and grocery dealers and 
keepers of the post-office, rose from his bunk under 
the counter, and shook himself. After yawning and 
stretching comfortably, he sprinkled the floor and pro- 
ceeded to sweep it. He had only half finished his task, 
hôwever, when he sat down on a keg of nails and fell 
îiito a rêverie. " This is my last day in this shanty," said 
he. " How it will surprise Lucretia when she hears I am 
gôing for a soldier ! How proud she will be, the little 
dariing ! " He pictured himself in ail manner of wariike 
situations ; the hero of a thousand extraordinary adven- 
tures ; the raan of rising famé ; the pet of Fortune at 
last ; and beheld himself, finally, retuming to his own 
home, a bronzed and scarred brigadier-general, to cast 
his honours and his matured and perfect love at the feet 
of his Lucretia Borgia Smith. 

At this point a thrill of joy and pride suffused his 
System ; but he looked down and saw his broom, and 
blushed. He came toppling down from the clouds he 
had been soaring among, and was an obscure clerk again, 
on a salary of two dollars and a half a week. 



198 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 



CHAPTER II. 

At eight o'clock that evening, with a heart palpitatîng 
with the proud news he had brought for his beloved, 
Reginald sat in Mr. Smith*s parlour awaiting Lucretia's 
appearance. The moment she entered, he sprang to 
meet her, his face lighted by the torch of love that was 
blazing in his head somewhere and shining through, and 
ejaculated, " Mine own I " as he opened his arms to 
receive her. 

" Sir ! '* said she, and drew herself up like an oflfended 
queen. 

Poor Reginald was stricken dumb with astonishment 
This chilling demeanour, this angry rebuff, where he had 
expected th« old, tender welcome, banished the gladness 
from his h©art as the cheerful brightness is swept from 
the landscape when a dark cloud drifts athwart the face 
of the sun. He stood bewildered a moment, with a 
sensé of goneness on him like one who finds himself 
suddenly overboard upon a midnight sea, and beholds 
the ship pass into shrouding gloom, while the dreadfld 
conviction falls upon his soûl that he has not been 
missed. He tried to speak, but his pallid lips refiised 
their office. At last he murmured — 

" O Lucretia ! what hâve I done? what is the matter? 
why this cruel coldness ? Don't you love your Reginald 
any more ? " 

Her lips curled in bitter scom, and she replied, in 
mocking tones — 



LUCRETIA SMITH' S SOLDIER. 199 

" Don't I love my Reginald any more ? No, I don't 
love my Reginald any more ! Go back to your pitiful 
junk-shop and grab your pitiful yard-stick, and stufF 
cotton in your ears, so that you can't hear your 
country shout to you to fall in and shoulder arms. 
Go ! '* And. then, unheeding the new light that flashed 
from his eyes, she fled from the room and slammed the 
door behind her. 

Only a moment more I Only a single moment more, 
he thought, and he could hâve told her how he had 
already answered the summons and signed the muster- 
roU, and ail would hâve been well ; his lost bride would 
bave come back to his arms with words of praise and 
thanksgiving upon her lips. He made a step forward, 
once, to recall her, but he remembered that he was no 
longer an efFeminate drygoods student, and his warrior 
soûl scomed to sue for quarter. He strode from the 
place with martial firmness, and never looked behind 
him. 



CHAPTER III. 



When Lucretia awoke next moming, the faint music 
of a fife and the roU of a distant drum came floating up 
on the soft spring breeze, and as she listened the sounds 
grew more subdued, and finally passed out of hearing. 
She lay absorbed in thought for many minutes, and then 
she sighed, and said, " Oh 1 if he were only with that 
band of brave fellows, how I could loNeYivxcLV^ ^ 



200 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

In the course of the day a neighbour dropped in, and 
when the conversation tumed upon the soldiers, the 
visitor said — 

" Reginald de Whittaker looked rather down-hearted, 
and didn't shout when he marched along with the other 
boys this moming. I expect it's owing to you, Miss 
Loo, though when I met him coming hère yesterday 
evening to tell you he*d enlisted, he thought you'd like 

it and be proud of Mercy ! what in the nation's 

the raatter with the girl ? " 

Nothing, only a sudden misery had fallen like a blight 
upon her heart, and a deadly pallor telegraphed it to her 
countenance. She rose up without a word, and walked 
with a firm step out of the room ; but once within the 
sacred seclusion of her own chamber her strong will gave 
way, and she burst into a flood of passionate tears. 
Bitterly she upbraided herself for her foolish haste of the 
night before, and her harsh treatment of her lover at the 
very moment that he had corne to anticipate the proudest 
wish of her heart, and to tell her that he had enrolled 
himself under the battle-flag, and was going forth to fight 
as her soldier. Alas ! other maidens would hâve soldiers 
in those glorious fields, and be entitled to the sweet pain 
of feeling a tender solicitude for them, but she would be 
unrepresented. No soldier in ail the vast armies would 
breathe her name as he breasted the crimson tide of war ! 
She wept again — or rather, she went on weeping where 
she left oif a moment before. In her bittemess of spirit 
she almost cursed the precipitancy that had brought ail 
this sorrow upon her young life. 

For weeks she nursed her grief in silence, while the 



LUCRETIA SMITH' S SOLDIER. 201 

roses faded from her cheeks. And through it ail she 
clung to the hope that some day the old love would 
bloom again in Reginald's heart, and he would write to 
her j but the long summer days dragged wearily along, 
and still no letter came. The newspapers teemed with 
stories of battle and carnage, and eagerly she read them, 
but always with the same resuit : the tears welled up 
and blurred the closing lines — the name she sought was 
looked for in vain, and the dull aching returned to her 
sinking heart. Letters to the other girls sometimes con- 
tained brief mention of him, and presented always the 
same picture of him — a morose, unsmiling, desperate 
man, always in the thickest of the fight, begrimed with 
powder, and moving calm and unscathed through tempests 
of shot and shell, as if he bore a charmed life. 

But at last, in a long list of maimed and killed, poor 
Lucretia read thèse terrible words, and fell fainting to 
the floor: — "j^. D, Whitiaker^ private soldier^ desperately 

a 

woundcd ! " 



CHAPTER IV. 



On a couch in one of the wards of a hospital at 
Washington lay a wounded soldier; his head was so 
profusely bandaged that his featiures were not visible : 
but there was no mistaking the happy face of the young 
girl who sat beside him — it was Lucretia Borgia Smith's. 
She had hunted him out several weeks before, and since 
that time she had patiently watched by him and tamsk*^^ 



202 MARK TWAIirS SKETCHES. 

him, coming in the moraing as soon as the surgeon had 
finlshed dressing his wounds, and never leaving him 
until relieved at nightfall. A bail had shattered his 
lower jaw, and he could not utter a syllable ; through ail 
her weary vigils she had never once been blessed with a 
grateful word from his dear lips ; yet she stood to her 
post bravely and without a murmur, feeling that when he 
did get well again she would hear that which would more 
than reward her for ail her dévotion. 

At the hour we hâve chosen for the opening of this 
chapter, Lucretia was in a tumult of happy excitement ; 
for the surgeon had told her that at last her Whittaker 
had recovered sufficiently to admit of the removal of the 
bandages from his head, and she was now waiting with 
feverish impatience for the doctor to come and disclose 
the loved features to her view. At last he came, and 
Lucretia, with beaming eyes and fluttering heart, bent 
over the couch with anxious expectancy. One bandage 
was removed, then another and another, and lo ! the 
poor wounded face was revealed to the light of day. 

" O my own dar " 

What hâve we hère ! What is the matter ! Alas ! it 
was the face of a stranger ! 

Poor Lucretia ! With one hand covering her uptumed 
eyes, she staggered back with a moan of anguish. Then 
a spasm of fury distorted her countenance as she brought 
her fist down with a crash that made the medicine bottles 
on the table dance again, and exclaimed — 

" Oh ! confound my cats, if I haven't gone and fooled 
away three mortal weeks hère, snufïling over the wrong 
soldier ] " 



LUCRETIA SMITH' S SOLDIER. 203 

It was a sad, sad truth. The wretched but innocent 
and unwitting impostor was R. D., or Richard Dilworthy 
Whittaker, of Wisconsin, the soldier of dear little Eugénie 
Le MuUigan, of that State, and utterly unknown to our 
unhappy Lucretia B. Smith. 

Such is life, and the trail of the serpent is over us ail. 
Let us draw the curtain over this melancholy history — 
for melancholy it must still remain, during a season at 
least, for the real Reginald de Whittaker has not turned 
up yet 



THE ENTERTAINING HISTORY OF THE 
SCRIPTURAL PANORAMIST. 

[I GiVE the history in Mr. Nickerson's own language.] 

There was a fellow travelling around, in that country 
(said Mr. Nickerson), with a moral religious show — a 
sort of a scriptural panorama — and he hired a simple old 
créature to play the piano for him. After the first 
night's performance, the showman says : — 

My friend, you seem to know pretty much àll the 
tunes there are, and you worry along first-rate. But 
then didn't you notice that sometimes last night thç 
pièce you happened to be playing was a little rasping on 
the proprieties, so to speak — didn't seem to jibe with the 
gênerai gait of the picture that was passing at the time 
as it were — was a little foreign to the subject, you know 
— as if you didn't either trump or foUow suit, you under- 
stand ? '' 

" Well, no," the fellow said ; he hadn't noticed, but it 
might be ; he had played along just as it came handy. 

So they put it up that the poor old dummy was to 
keep his eye on the panorama after that, and as soon as 
a Smart picture was reeled out he was to fit it to a 
dot with a pièce of music that would help the audience 
toget the idea of the subject, and warm them up to an 



SCRIPTURAL PANORAMIST. 205 

appréciation of it. That sort of thing would capture 
their sympathies the showman said. 

There was a big audience that night. The showman 
began to swell himself up for his lecture, the old pianist 
ran his fingers up and down his instrument once or twice 
to see that it was ail right, and the supes behind the curtain 
commenced to unwind the panorama. The showman 
balanced hisweight on his right foot, and propped his 
hands on his bips, and flung his eye over his shoulder at 
the scenery, and says — 

" Ladies and gentlemen, the painting now before you 
illustrâtes the beautiful and touching parable of the Pro- 
digal Son. Observe the happy expression just breaking 
over the features of the poor, suffering youth — so wom 
and weory with his long march ; note also the ecstasy 
beaming from the uplifted countenance of the aged 
father, and the joy that sparkles in the eyes of the ex- 
cited group of youths and maidens, and seems ready to 
burst in a welcoming. chorus from their lips. The lesson, 
my friends, is as solemn and instructive as the story is 
tender and beautiful." 

The musician was ail ready, and the second the 
speech was finished he struck up — 



(( 



Oh î we'll aU get blind drunk 

When Johnny cornes marching home !" 



Some of the people gigglèd, and some groaned a little. 
The showman couldn't say a word. He looked at the 
pianist, but he was ail lovely and serene — he didn't know 
f hère was anything out of gear. 



2o6 MARK TWAIlSrS SKETCHES, 

The panorama moved on, and the showman drummed 
up his pluck and began again : — 

" Ladies and gentiemen, the fine picture now unfold- 
ing itself to your gaze exhibits one of the most notablç 
events in Bible history — our Saviour and his disciples 
upon the Sea of Galilée. How grand, how awe-in- 
spiring are the reflections which the subject invokesl 
What sublimity of faith is revealed to us in this lesson 
from the sacred writings ! The Saviour rebukes the 
angry waves, and walks securely upon the bosom of the 
deep!" 

AU around the house they were whispering — " Oh ! 
how lovely ! how beautiful !" and the orchestra let him- 
self out àgain : — 

** Oh ! a life on the océan wave, 
And a home on the rolling deep ?" 

There was a good deal of honest laughter thiç time, 
and considérable groaning, and one or two deacons got 
up and went out. The showman gritted his teeth and 
cursed the piano man to himself; but the fellow sat 
there like a knot on a log, and seemed to think he was 
doing first-rate. 

After things got quiet, the showman thought he would 
make one more stagger at it, anyhow, though his confi- 
dence was beginning to get very shaky. The supes 
started the panorama along again, and he says : — 

" Ladies and gentlemen, this exquisite painting illus- 
trâtes the raising of Lazarus from the dead by our 
Saviour. The subject has been handled with rare 
ability by the artist, and such touching sweetness and 



SCRIPTURAL PANORAMIST. 207 

tendemess of expression has he thrown into it, that I 
hâve known peculiarly sensitive persons to be even 
aflfected to tears by looking at it. Observe the half- 
confused, half-inquiring look upon the countenance of 
the awakening Lazarus. Observe, also, the attitude and 
expression of the Saviour, who takes him gently by the 
sleeve of his shroud with one hand, while he points with 
the other towards the distant city." 

Before anybody could get ofF an opinion in the case, 
the innocent old muggins at the piano stuck up — 

" Corne, rise up, William Ri-i-ley, 
And Go along with me ! " 

My ! Ail the solemn old flats got up in a fury to go, 
and everybody else laughed till the Windows rattled. 

The showman went down and grabbed the orchestra 
and shook him up, and says 

But what he said was too vigorous for répétition, and 
is better lefl out. 



AN UNBURLESQUABLE THING. 

There is one other thing which transcends the powers 

of burlesque, and that is a Fenian " invasion." First, we 

hâve the portentous mystery that précèdes it for six 

months, when ail the air is fiUed with stage whisperings ; 

when " Councils" meet every night with awiul secrecy, 

and the membership try to see who can get up first in 

the moming and tell the proceedings. Next, the ex- 

patriated Nation struggles through a travail of national 

squabbles and political splits, and is finally delivered of a 

litter of " Govemments," and Présidents McThis and 

Gênerais OThat, of several différent complexions, politî- 

cally speaking; and straightway the newspapers teem 

with the new names, and men who were insignificant and 

obscure one day find themselves great and famous the 

next. Then the several " govemments,'* and présidents, 

and gênerais, and menâtes get by the ears, and remain so 

until the customary necessity of canying the American 

city élections with a minority vote comes around and 

unités them ; then they begin to " sound the tocsin of 

war" again — that is to say, in solemn whisperings at 

dead of night they secretly plan a Canadian raid, and 

publish it in the " World" next moming ; they begin to 

refer significantly to " Ridgway," and we reflect bodingly 



AN UNBURLESQUABLE THING. 209 

that therç is no telling how soon that slaughter may be 
repeated. Presently the "invasion" begins to take 
tangible shape, and, as no news.travels so freely or so 
fast as the " secret " doings of the Fenian brotherhood, 
the land is shortly in a tumult of appréhension. The 
telegraph announces that "last night 400 men went 
north from Utica, but refused to disclose their destina- 
tion — ^were extremely réticent — answered no questions — 
were not armed or in uniform, but // was noticed that they 
marched to the dépôt in miîitary fashion** — and so on. 
Fifty such despatches foUow each other within two days, 
evidencing that squads of locomotive mystery hâve gone 
north from a hundred différent points and rendezvoused 
on the Canadian border — and that, consequently, a 
horde of 25,000 invaders, at least, is gathered together ; 
and then, hurrah 1 they cross the Une ; hurrah ! they 
mèet the enemy j hip, hip, hurrah ! a battle ensues j hip 
— ^no, not hip nor hurrah — for the U. S. Marshal and 
one ihan seize the Fenian General-in-Chief on the battle- 
field, in the midst of his " army," and bowl him off in a 
carriage and lodg^ him in a common jail — and, presto ! 
the illustrious "invasion" is at an end ! 

The Fenians hâve not done many things that seemed 
to call for pictorial illustration ; but their first care has 
usually been to make a picture of any performance of 
theirs that would stand it as soon as possible after its 
achievement, and paint everything in it a violent green, 
and embellish it with harps and pickaxes, and other 
emblems of national grandeur, and print thousands of 
them in the severe simplicity of primitive lithography, 
and hâîng them above the National PalaAlMXû. ^xxnssw^'^'^ 



2IO MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

decanters. ' Shall we hâve a nice picture of the battle of 
Pigeon Hill and the little accident to the Commander-in- 
Chief? 

No, a Fenian "invasion'* cannot be burlesqued, be- 
cause it uses up ail the material itself. It is harmless 
fun, this annual masquerading toward the border ; but 
America should not encourage it, for the reason that it 
may some time or other succeed in embroiling the 
country in a war with a friendly power — ^and such an 
event as that would be ill compensated by the libération 
of even so excellent a people as the Down-trodden 
Nation. 



RILEY— NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT. 

One of the best men in Washington — or elsewhere — 
is RiLEY, correspondent of the great San Francisco 
dailies. 

Riley is full of humour, and has an unfailing vein of 
irony, which makes his conversation to the last degree 
entertaining (as long as the remarks are about somebody 
else). But, notwithstanding the possession of thèse quali- 
ties, which should enable a man to write a happy and an 
appetizing letter, Riley's newspaper letters ofteû display 
a more than earthly solemnity, and likewise an unimagi- 
native dévotion to petrified facts, which surprise and 
distress ail men who know him in his unofficial character. 
He explains this curions thing by saying that his em- 
. ployers sent him to Washington to write facts, not fancy, 
and that several times he has come near losing his situa- 
tion by inserting humorous remarks which, not being 
looked for at headquarters, and consequently not under- 
stood, were thought to be dark and bloody speeches 
intended to convey signais and warnings to murderous 
secret societies, or something of that kind, and so were 
gcratched out with a sbiver and a prayer and cast into 

Ci 1 



212 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES,' 

the stove. Riley says that sometimes he is so afflicted 
with a yeaming to write a sparkling and absorbingly 
readable letter that he simply cannot resist it, and so he 
goes to his den and revels in the delight of untrammelled 
scribbling \ and then, with sufFering such as only a mother 
can know, he destroys the pretty children of his fancy 
and reduces his letter to the required dismal accuracy. 
Having seen Riley do this very thing more than once, I 
know whereof I speak. Often I hâve laughed with him 
over a happy passage, and grieved to see him plough his 
pen through it. He would say, " I had to write that or 
die; and IVe got to scratch it out or starve. They 
wouldn't stand it, you know." 

I think Riley is about the most entertaining company 
I ever saw. We lodged together in many places in 
Washington during the winter of '67-8, moving comfort- 
ably from place to place, and attracting attention by 
paying our board — a course which cannot fail to make a 
person conspicuous in Washington. Riley would tell ail 
about his trip to Califomia in the early days, by way of 
the Isthmus and the San Juan river ; and about his 
baking bread in San Francisco to gain a living, and setting 
up ten-pins, and practising law, and opening oysters, and 
delivering lectures, and teaching French, and tending 
bar, and reporting for the newspapers, and keeping danc- 
ing-school, and interpreting Chinese in the courts — which 
latter was lucrative, and Riley was doing handsomely 
and laying up a little money when people began to find 
fault because his translations were too " free," a thing for 
which Riley considered he ought not to be held respon- 
sable, since he did not know a word of the Chinese tongue, 



RILEY—NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT. 213 

and only adopted interpreting as a means of gaining 
an honest livelihood. Through the machinations of 
enemies he was removed from. the position of officiai 
interpréter, and a man put in his place who was familiar 
with the Chinese language, but did not know any English. 
And Riley used to tell about publishing a newspaper up 
in what is Alaska now, but was only an iceberg then, 
with a population composed of bears, walnises, Indians, 
and other animais ; and how the iceberg got adrift at last, 
and left ail his paying subscribers behind, and as soon 
as the commonwealth floated out of the jurisdiction of 
Russia the people rose and threw off their allegiance and 
ran up the English flag, calculating to hook on and 
become an English colony as they drifted along down 
the British Possessions ; but a land breeze and a crooked 
current carried them by, and they ran up the Stars and 
Stripes and steered for Cahfomia, missed the connection 
again and swore allegiance to Mexico, but it wasn't any 
use ; the anchors came home every time, and away they 
went with the north-east trades drifting ofF sideways toward 
the Sandwich Islands, whereupon they ran up the Can- 
nibal flag and had a grand human barbecue in honour of 
it, in which ît was noticed that the better a man liked a 
friend the better he enjoyed him ; and as soon as they 
got fairly within the tropics the weather got so fearfully 
hot that the iceberg began to melt, and it got so sloppy 
under foot that it was almost impossible for ladies to get 
about at ail ; and at last, just as they came in sight of the 
islands, the melancholy remnant of the once-majestic 
iceberg canted first to one side and then to the other, 
and then plunged under for ever, carryin^ t\v^ x^^x^-w^ 



214 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

archives along with it — and not only the archives and 
the populace, but some eligible town lots which had 
increased in value as fast as they diminished in size in 
the tropics, and which Riley could hâve sold at thirty 
cents a pound and made himself rich if he could hâve 
kept the province afloat ten hours longer and got her 
into port. 

And so forth and so on, with ail the facts of Riley's 
trip through Mexico, a joumey whose history his felicitous 
fancy can make more interesting than any novel that ever 
was written. What a shame it is to tie Riley down to 
the dreary mason-work of laying up solemn dead-walls of 
fact ! He does write a plain, straightforward, and perfectly 
accurate and reliable correspondence, but it seems to me 
that I would rather hâve one chatty paragraph of his fancy 
than a whole obituary of his facts. 

Riley is very methodical, untiringly accommodating, 
never forgets anything that is to be attended to, is a good 
son, a staunch friend, and a permanent reliable enemy. 
He will put himself to any amount of trouble to oblige a 
body, and therefore always has his hands full of things 
to be done for the helpless and the shiftless. And he 
knows how to do nearly everything, too. He is a man 
whose native benevolence is a well-spring that never goes 
dry. He stands always ready to help whoever needs 
help, as far as he is able — and not simply with his money, 
for that is a cheap and common charity, but with hand 
and brain, and fatigue of limb and sacrifice of time. This 
sort of men is rare. 

Riley has a ready wît, a quickness and aptness at select- 
ing and applying quotations, and a countenance that is as 



RILEY^NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT, 215 

solemn and as blank as the back side of a tombstone when 
he isdeUvering a particularly exasperating joké. One night 
a negro woman was bumed to death in a house next door 
to us, and Riley said that our landlady would be oppres- 
sively emotional at breakfast, because she generally made 
use of such opportunities as ofifered, being of a morbidly 
sentimental tum, and so we shoald find it best to let her 
talk along and say nothirig back — it was the only way to 
keep her tears out of the gravy. Riley said there never 
was a funeral in the neighbourhood but that the gravy 
was watery for a week. 

And, sure enough, at breakfast the landlady was down 
in the very sloughs of woe — entirely broken-hearted. 
Everything she looked at reminded her of that poor old 
negro woman, and so the buckwheat cakes made her 
sob, the coffee forced a groan, and when the beefsteak 
came on she fetched a wail that made our hair rise. Then 
she got to talking about deceased, and kept up a steady 
drizzle till both of us were soaked through and through. 
Presently she took a fresh breath and said, with a world 
of sobs — 

" Ah, to think of it, only to think of it ! — the poor old 
faithful créature. For she was so faithful. Would you 
believe it, she had been a servant in that self-same house 
and that self-same family for twenty-seven years come 
Christmas, and never a cross word and never a lick ! 
And, oh, to think she should meet such a death at last ! — 
a sitting over the red-hot stove at three o'clock in the 
moming and went to sleep and fell on it and was actually 
roastedî Not just frizzled up a bit, but literally roasted 
to a crisp ! Poor faithful créature, how slv^ imos ^^'çà«Â.^\ 



2i6 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

I am but a poor woman, but even if I hâve to scrimp to 
do it, I will put up a tombstone over that lone sufferer's 
grave — and Mr. Riley, if you would hâve the goodness 
to think up a little epitaph to put on it which would sort 

of describe the awful way in which she met her " 

" Put it, * Welldone^ good and faithful servant ! * " said 
Riley, and never smiled. 



THE FACTS CONCERNING THE 
RECENT RESIGNATION. 

Washington, Dec. 2, 1867. 

I HAVE resîgned. The Government appears to go on 
much the same, but there is a spoke out of its wheel, 
nevertheless. I was clerk of the Senate Committee on 
Conchology, and I hâve thrown up the position. I could 
see the plainest disposition on the part of the other 
members of the Government to debar me from having 
any voice in the counsels of the nation, and so I could 
no longer hold office and retain my self-respect. If I 
were to détail ail the outrages that were heaped upon me 
during the six days that I was connected with the Go- 
vernment in an officiai capacity, the narrative would fill 
a volume. They appointed me clerk of that Committee 
on Conchology, and then allowed me no amanuensis to 
play billiardswîth. I would hâve borne that, lonesome 
as it was, if I had met with that courtesy from the other 
members of the Cabinet which was my due. But I did 
not. Whenever I observed that the head of a depart- 
ment was pursuing a wrong course, I laid down every- 
thing and went and tried to set him right, as it was my 
duty to do ; and I never was thanked for it in a smj^o. 



2i8 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES, 

instance. I went, with the best intentions in the world, 
to the Secretary of the Navy, and said — 

" Sir, I cannot see that Admirai Farragut is doing any- 
thing but skirmishing around there in Europe, having a 
sort of picnic. Now, that may be ail very well, but it 
does not exhibit itself to me in that light. If there is no 
fighting for him to do, let him come home. There is no 
use in a man having a whole fleet for a pleasure excur- 
sion. It is too expensive. Mind, I do not object to 
pleasure excursions for the naval officers — pleasure ex- 
cursions that are in reason — ^pleasure excursions that are 
economicaL Now, they might go down the Mississippi 
on a raft '^ 

You ought to hâve heard him storm ! One would 
hâve supposed I had committed a crime of some kind. 
But I didn't mind. I said it was cheap, and full of 
republican simplicity, and perfectly safe. I said that, for 
a tranquil pleasure excursion, there was nothing equal to 
a raft. 

Then the Secretary of the Navy asked me who 1 was ; 
and when I told him I was connected with the Gk)vem- 
ment, he wanted to know in what capatity. I said that, 
without remarking upon the singularity of such a ques- 
tion, coming, as it did, from a member of that same Go- 
vernment, I would inform him that I was clerk of the 
Senate Committee on Conchology. Then there was a 
fine storm ! He finished by ordering me to leave the 
premises and give my attention strictly to my own busi- 
ness in future. My first impulse was to get him removed. 
However, that would harm others beside himself and do 
me no real good, and so I let him stay. 



THE RECENT RESIGNA TION 219 

I went next to the Secretary of War, who was not in- 
clined to see me at ail until he leamed that I was con- 
nected with the Government. If I had not been on im- 
portant business, I suppose I could not hâve got in. I 
asked him for a light (he was smoking at the time), and 
then I told him I had no fault to find with his defending 
the parole stipulations of Gen. Lee and his comrades in 
arms, but that I could not approve of his method of 
fighting the Indians on the Plains. I said he fought too 
scattering. He ought to get the Indians more together 
— get them together in some convenient place, where he 
could hâve provisions enough for both parties, and then 
hâve a gênerai massacre. I said there was nothing so 
convincingto an Indian as a gênerai massacre. If he 
could not approve of the massacre, I said the next 
surest thing for an Indian was soap and éducation. 
Soap and éducation are not as sudden as a massacre, but 
they are more deadly in the long run ; because a half- 
massacred Indian may recover, but if you educate him 
and wash him, it is bound to finish him some time or 
other. It undermines his constitution ; it strikes at the 
foundations of his being. " Sir," I said, " the time has 
come when blood-curdling cruelty has become necessary. 
Inflict soap and a spelling-book on every Indian that 
ravages the Plains, and let him die ! '* 

The Secretary of War asked me if I was a member of 
the Cabinet, and I said I was — and I was not one of 
thèse ad intérim people either. (Severe, but merited.) 
He inquired what position I held, and I said I was 
clerk of the Senate Committee on Conchology. I 
was then ordered under att^^X. iû\ ^^-s^^ck^^. ^ 



220 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

court, and restrained of my liberty for the best part of 
a day. 

I almost resolved to be silent thenceforward, and let 
the Govemment get along the best way it could. But 
duty called, and I obeyed. I called on the Secretary of 
the Treasury. He said — 

"AVhatwillj;(?2^have?" 

The question threw me ofF my guard. I said, " Rum 
punch." 

He said, " If you hâve got any business hère, sir, state 
it — ^and in as few words as possible." 

I then said that I was sorry he had seen fit to change 
the subject so abruptly, because such conduct was very 
offensive to me ; but under the circumstançes I would 
overlook the matter and come to the point I now went 
into an eamest expostulation with him upon the extra- 
vagant length of his. report. I said it was expensive, 
unnecessary, and awkwardly constructed ; there were no 
descriptive passages in it, no poetry, no sentiment, — no 
heroes, no plot, no pictures — not even woodcuts. No- 
body would read it, that was a clear case. I lurged him 
not to ruin his réputation by getting out a thing like 
that If he ever hoped to succeed in literature, he must 
throw more variety into his writings. He must beware 
of dry détail. I said that the main popularity of the 
almanac was derived from its poetry and conundrums, 
and that a few conundrums distributed around through 
his Treasury report would help the sale of it more than 
ail the internai revenue he could put into it I said 
thèse things in the kindest spirit, and yet the Secretary 
oî the Treasury fell into a violent passion. . He even 



THE RECENT RESIGNATION. 221 

said I was an ass. He abused me in the most vindictive 
manner, and said that if I came there again meddling 
with his business, he would throw me out of the window. 
I said I would take my hat and go, if I could not be 
treated with the respect due to my office, and I did go. 
It was just like a new author. They always think 
they know more than anybody else when they are 
getting out their first book. Nobody can tell them any- 
thing. 

During the whole time that I was connected with the 
Government it seemed as if I could not do anything in 
an officiai capacity without getting myself into trouble. 
And yet I did nothing, attempted nothing, but what I 
conceived to be for the good of my country. The sting 
of my wrongs may hâve driven me to un just and harm- 
ful conclusions, but it surely seemed to me that the 
Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of 
the Treasury, and others of my confrlres had conspired 
from the very beginning to drive me from the Adminis- 
tration. I ne ver attended but one Cabinet meeting 
while I was connected with the Government. That was 
sufficient for me. The servant at the White House door 
did not seem disposed to make way for me until I asked 
if the other members of the Cabinet had arrived. He 
said they had, and I entered. They were ail there ; but 
nobody offered me a seat. They stared at me as if I 
had been an intruder. The Président said — 

" Well, sir, who are you ? " 

I handed him my card, and he read — "The Hon. 
Mark Twain, Clerk of the Senate Committee on Con- 
chology." Then he looked at me from head to"foQt^^s. 



222 MARK TWAIJSrS SKETCHES. 

if he had never heard of me before. The Secretary of 
the Treasury said — 

" This is the meddlesome ass that came to recom- 
mend me to put poetry and conundrums in my report, 
as if it were an aJmanac." 

The Secretary of War said — " It is the same visionary 
that came to me yesterday with a scheme to educate a 
portion of the Indians to death, and massacre the 
balance." 

The Secretary of the Navy said — " I recognise this 
youth as the person who has been interfering with my 
business time and again during the week. He is dis- 
tressed about Admirai Farragut's using a whole fleet for 
a pleasure excursion, as he terms it. His proposition 
about some insane pleasure excursion on a raft is too 
absurd to repeat." 

I said — " Gentlemen, I perceive hère a disposition to 
throw discrédit upon every act of my officiai career ; I 
perceive, also, a disposition to debar me from ail voice in 
the counsels of the nation. No notice whatever was sent 
to me to-day. It was only by the merest chance that I 
leamed that there was going to be a Cabinet meeting. 
But let thèse things pass. Ail I wish to know is, is this 
a Cabinet meeting, or is it not ?" 

The Président said it was. 

" Then," I said, "let us proceed to business at once, 
and not fritter away valuable time in unbecoming fault- 
findings with each other's officiai conduct." 

The Secretary of State now spoke up, in his benignant 
way, and said, " Young man, you are labouring under a 
mistake. The clerlrr of the Congressional committees 



THE RECENT RESIGNATION, 223 

are not members of the Cabinet Neither are the door- 
keepers of the Capitol, strange as it may seem. There- 
fore, much as we could désire your more than human 
wisdom in our délibérations, we cannot lawfully avail 
ourselves of it The counsels of the nation must proceed 
without you ; if disaster follows, as foUow full well it may, 
be it balm to your sorrowing spirit, that by deed and 
voice you did what in you lay to avert it You hâve my 
blessing. Farewell." 

Thèse gentle words soothed my troubled breast, and I 
went away. But the servants of a nation can know no 
peace. I had hardly reached my den in the Capitol, 
and disposed my feet on the table Uke a représentative, 
when one of the Senators on the Conchological Com- 
nùttee came in in a passion and said — 

" Where hâve you been ail day?" 

I observed that, if that was anybod/s aflfair but my 
own, I had been to a Cabinet meeting. 

" To a Cabinet meeting ! I would like to know what 
business you had at a Cabinet meeting ? '* 

I said I went there to consult — allowing for the sake 
of argument, that he was in anywise concerned in the 
matter. He grew insolent then, and ended by saying he 
had wanted me for three days past to copy a report on 
bomb-shells, egg-shells, clam-shells, and I don't know 
what ail, connected with conchology, and nobody had 
been able to find me. 

This was too much. This was the feather that broke 
the clérical cameFs back. I said, " Sir, do you suppose 
that I am going to work for six dollars a day ? If that is 
the idea, let me recommend the Senate Committee oxn. 



224 MARK TWAIlSrS SKETCHES. 

Conchology to hke somebody else. I am the slave of 
no faction ! Take back your degrading commission. 
Give me liberty, or give me death !" 

From that hour I was no longer connected with the 
Government. Snubbed by the department, snubbed by 
tiie Cabinet, snubbed at last by the chairman of a com- 
mittee I was endeavouring to adom, I yielded to persé- 
cution, cast far from me the périls and séductions of my 
great office, and forsook my bleeding country in the hour 
of her péril. 

But I had done the State some service, and I sent in 
my bill : — 

The United States of America in account ivith the Hon, Clerk of 
the Senate Commiitee on Conchology^ Dr, 

To consultation with Secretary of War .... $50 

To consultation with Secretary of Navy 

To consultation with Secretary of the Treasury . 

Cabinet consultation 

To mileage to and from Jérusalem,* via Egypt, A 

Gibraltar, and Cadiz, i4,ocx> miles, at 20 c a mile . 2,Soo 
To Salary as Clerk of Senate Cpmmittee on Conchology, six 

days, at $6 per day 36 



50 

No charge, 
giers. 



Total $2,986 

Not an item of this bill has been paid, except that 
trifle of 36 dollars for clerkship salary. The Secretary of 
the Treasury, pursuing me to the last, drew his pen 
through ail the other items, and simply marked in the 
margin, ** Not allowed." So, the dread alternative is 

* Territorial delegates charge mileage both ways, although they 
never go back when they get hère once. 'WV^ m^ xcAfta^^Ss» ^«cÀfi.ei. 
me is more than I can understanà. 



THE RECENT RESIGNATION. 225 

embraced at last. Répudiation has begun I The nation 
is lost True, the Président promised that he would 
mention my claim in his Message, and recommend that 
ît be paid out of the first moneys received on account of 
the Alabama claims ; but will he recoUect to do it ? And 
may not I be forgotten when the Alabama claims are 
paid ? Younger claimants than I am may be forgotten 
when the Alabama claims are paid. 

I am done with officiai life for the présent Let those 
clerks who are willing to be imposed on remain. I 
know numbers of them, in the Departments, who are 
never informed when there is to be a Cabinet meeting, 
whose advice is never asked about war, or finance, or 
commerce, by the heads of the nation, any more than if 
they were not connected with the Government, and who 
actually stay in their offices day after day and work ! 
They know their importance to the nation, and they 
unconsciously show it in their bearing, and the way they 
order their sustenance at the restaurant — but they work. 
I know one who has to paste ail sorts of little scraps 
from the newspapers into a scrap-book — sometimes as 
many as eight or ten scraps a day. He doesn't do it 
well, but he does it as well as he can. It is very 
fatiguing. It îs exhausting to the intellect. Yet he only 
gets 1,800 dollars a year. With a brain like his, that 
young man could amass thousands and thousands of 
dollars in some other pursuit, if he chose to do it. But 
no — ^his heart is with his country, and he will serve her 
as long as she has got a scrap-book Mt. KxAX^kssks^ 
clerks that don't know how to vmXe n^tv ^€\^^s^^ ^sc^^^ 
knowledge as they possess they -nobV^ \^^ ^"^ "^^ 



226 MARK TWAIISPS SKETCHES. 

their country, and toil on and suflfer for 2,500 dollars a 
year. What they write has to be written over again by 
other clerks, sometimes ; but when a man has donc his^ 
best for his country, should his country complain ? Then 
there are clerks that hâve no clerkships, and are waiting, 
and waiting, and waiting, for a vacancy — waiting patiently 
for a chance to help their country out — and while they 
are waiting, they only get barely 2,000 dollars a year for 
it It is sad — it is very, very sad. When a member of 
Congress has a friend who is gifted, but has no employ- 
ment wherein his great powers may be brought to bear, 
he confers him upon his country, and gives him a clerk- 
ship in a Department. And there that man has to slave 
his life out fighting documents for the benefit of a nation 
that never thinks of him, never sympathises with him — 
and ail for 2,000 or 3,000 dollars a year. When I shall 
hâve completed my list of ail the clerks in the several 
departments, with my statement of what they hâve to do, 
and what they get for it, you will see that there are not 
half enough clerks, and that what there are do not get 
half enough pay. 



A DARING ATTEMPT AT A SOLUTION 

OF IT. 

The Fenian invasion failed because George Francis 
Train was absent. There was no lack of men, arms, or 
ammunition, but there was sad need of Mr. Train's 
organising power, his coolness and caution, his tranquil- 
lity, his strong good sensé, his modesty and reserve, his 
secrecy, his tacitumity, and above ail his frantic and 
bloodthirsty courage. Mr. Train and his retiring and 
diffident private secretary were obliged to be absent, 
though the former must certainly hâve been lying at the 
point of death, else nothing could hâve kept him from 
hurrying to the front, and oflfering his heart*s best blood 
for the Down-trodden People he so loves, so worships, so 
delights to champion. He must hâve been in a disabled 
condition, else nothing could hâve kept him from invad- 
ing Canada at the head of his " children." 

And, indeed, this modem Samson, solitaiy and alone, 
with his formidable jaw, would hâve been a more trouble- 
some enemy than five times the Fenians that did invade 
Canada, because they could be made to retire, but G. F. 
would never leave the field while there was an audience 
before him, either armed or helçk^^. Tûfc \s5n^.^sscw^ 



228 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

Fenîans were wisely cautîous, knowîng that such of them 
as were caught would be likely to hang ; but the Cham- 
pion would hâve stood in no such danger. There is no 
law, military or civil, for hanging persons afflicted in his 
peculiar way. 

He was not présent, alas ! — save in spirit. He could 
not and would not waste so fine an opportunity, though, 
to send some ecstatic lunacy over the wires, and so he 
wound up a ferocious telegram with this : — 

WiTH Vengeance steeped in Wormwood's Gall I 

D D Old England, say we allI 

And keep your powder dry, 

Geo. Francis Train. 
Sherman House, 

Chicago, Noon, Thursday, May 26. 

P. S. — Just arrived and addressed Grand Fenian Meeting in 
Fenian Armoury, donating 50 dollars. 

This person could be made really useful by roostîng 
hîm on some lighthouse or other prominence where 
storms prevail, because it takes so much wind to keep 
him going that he probably moves in the midst of a dead 
calm wherever he travels. 



A MEMORY. 

When I say that I never knew my austère father to be 
enamoured of but one poem in ail the long half-century 
that he lived, persons who knew him will easily believe 
me j when I say that I hâve never composed but one 
poem in ail the long third of a century that I hâve lived, 
persons who know me will be sincerely grateful; and 
finally, when I say that the poem which I composed was 
not the one which my father was enamoured of,, persons 
who may hâve known us both will not need to hâve this 
truth shot into them with a mountain howitzer before they 
can receive it. My father and I were always on the most 
distant terms when I was a boy — a sort of armed neutra- 
lity, so to speak. At irregular intervais this neutrality 
was broken, and suflfering ensued ; but I will be candid 
enough to say that the breaking and the suffering were 
always divided up with strict impartiality between us— 
which is to say, my father did the breaking, and I did the 
suffering. As a gênerai thing I was a backward, cautions, 
unadventurous boy. But once I jumped off a two-storey 
stable; another time I gave an éléphant a "plug*' of 
tobacco, and retired without waiting for an answer; 
and still another time I pretended to b^ \a3^«xù% \sl \ss?i 



230 MARK TWAIlSrS SKETCHES, 

sleep, and got off a portion of a very wretched original 
conundrum in hearing of my father. Let us not pry 
into the resuit ; it was of no conséquence to any one 
but me. 

But the poem I hâve referred to as attracting my 
father's attention and achieving his favour was "Hia- 
watha." Some man who courted a sudden and awful 
death presented him an early copy, and I never lost faith 
in my own sensés until I saw him sit down and go to 
reading it in cold blood — saw him open the book, and 
heard him read thèse foUowing lines, with the same in- 
flectionless judicial frigidity with which he always read 
his charge to the jury, or administered an oath to a 
witness — 

" Take your bow, O Hiawatha, 
Take your arrows, jasper-headed, 
Take your war-dub, Puggawaugun, 
And your xnittens, Minjekahwan, 
And your bircb-canoe for sailing, 
And the oil of Mishe-Nama." 

Presently my feither took out of his breast-pocket an 
imposing " Warranty Deed," and fixed his eyes upon it, 
and dropped into méditation. I knew what it was. A 
Texan lady and gentleman had given my half-brother, 
Orrin Johnson, a handsome property in a town in the 
North, in gratitude to him for having saved their lives by 
an act of brilliant heroism. 

By-and-by my father looked toward me and sigheA 
Then he said, " If I had such a son as this poet, hère 
were a subject worthier than the traditions of thèse 
Indians, " 



A MEMORY. 231 

"If you please, sir, where? " 

" In this deed.*' 

" In the— deed ? " 

" Yes — ^in this very deed," said my father, throwing it 
on the table. " There is more poetry, more romance, 
more sublimity, more splendid imagery hidden away in 
that homely document than could be found in ail the 
traditions of ail the savages that live." 

" Indeed, sir ? Could I — could I get it out, sir ? Could 
I compose the poem, sir, do you think ? " 

" You ? " 

I wilted. 

Presently my father's face softened somewhat, and he 
said — 

" Go and try. But mind ; curb folly. No poetry at 
the expense of truth. Keep strictly to the facts." 

I said I would, and bowed myself out and went up 
stairs. 

" Hiawatha " kept droning in my head — and so did 
my father's remarks about the sublimity and romance 
hidden in my subject, and also his injunction to beware 
of wasteful and exubérant fancy. I noticed just hère 
that I had heedlessly brought the deed away with me. 
Now, at this moment came to me one of those rare 
moods of daring recklessness, such as I referred to a 
while ago. Without another thought, and in plain dé- 
fiance of the fact that I knew my father meant me to 
Write the romantic story of my half-brother*s adventiu*e 
and subséquent good fortune, I ventured to heed merely 
the letter of his remarks and ignore their spirit. I took 
the stupid " Warranty Deed " itself and chQi3T^e.<i ^ xs?^ 



232 MARK TIVAIN'S SKETCHES. 

into Hiawathian blank verse, without altering or leaving 
out three words, and without transposing six. It required 
loads of courage to go down-stairs and face my father 
with my performance. I started three or four times be- 
fore I finally got my pluck to where it would stick. But 
at last I said I would go down and read it to him if he 
threw me over the church for it. I stood up to begin, 
and he told me to come doser. I edged up a little, but 
still left as much neutral ground between us as I thought 
he would stand. Then I began. It would be useless 
for me to try to tell what conflicting émotions expressed 
themselves upon his face, nor how they grew more and 
more intense as I proceeded ; nor how a fell darkness 
descend ed upon his countenance, and he began to gag 
and swallow, and his hands began to work and twitch, as 
I reeled ofF line after Une, with the strength ebbing out 
of me and my legs trembling under me. 

"THE STORY OF A OALLANT DEED, 

THIS INDENTURE, made the tenth 

Day of November, in the year 
Of our Lord one thousand eight 

Hundred six-and-fifty. 

Between Jo ANNA S. E. Gray 

And Philip Gray, her husband, 
Of Salem City, in the State 

Of Texas, of the first part, 

And O. B. Johnson, of the town 
Of Austin, ditto, WITNESSETH : 

That said party of first part, 
For and in considération 



A MEMORY. 233 

Of the sum of Twenty Thousand 

Dollars, lawfiil money of 
The U. S. of Americay, 

To them in hand now paid by said 

Party of the second part, 

The due receipt whereof is here- 
By confessed and acknowledg-ed, 

Hâve Granted, Bargained, Sold, Remîsed, 

Released and Aliened and Conveyed, 

Confirmed, and by thèse présents do 
Grant and Bargain, Sell, Remise, 

Alien, Release, Convey, and Con- 

Firm unto the said aforesaid 

Party of the second part. 
And to his heirs and assigns 

For ever and ever, ALL 

That certain pièce or parcel of 

LAND situate in city of 
Dunkirk, county of Chautauqua, 

And likewise furthermore in York State, 

Bounded and described, to wit, 

As foUows, herein, namely : 
BEGINNING at the distance of 

A hundred two-and-forty feet, 

North-half-east, north-east-by-north, 

East-north-east and northerly 
Of the northerly line of MuUigan Street, 

On the westerlyline of Brani\igjv.\\. ÇiVtÇi^\.^ 



234 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

And running thence due northerly 

On Brannigan Street 200 feet, 
Thence at right angles westerly, 

North-west-by-west-and-west-half-west, 

West-and-by-north, north-west-by-west, 
About " 

I kind of dodged, and the boot-jack broke the looking- 
glass. I could hâve waited to see what became of the 
other missiles if I had wanted to, but I took no interest 
in such things. 



SCIENCE V. LUCK. 

At that time, in Kentucky (said the Hon. Mr. Knott, 
M. C), the law was very strict against what it termed 
" games of chance." About a dozen of the boys were 
detected playing " seven-up " or " old sledge " for money, 
and the grand jury found a true bill against them. Jim 
Sturgis was retained to défend them when the case came 
up, of course. The more he studied over the matter and 
looked into the évidence, the plainer it was that he must 
lose a case at last — ^there was no getting around that 
painful fact. Those boys had certainly been betting 
money on a game of chance. Even public s)anpathy was 
roused in behalf of Sturgis. People said it was a pity to 
see him mar his successful career with a big prominent 
case like this, which must go against him. 

Butafter several restless nightsan inspired idea flashed 
upon Sturgis, and he sprang out of bed delighted. He 
thought he saw his way through. The next day he 
whispered aroimd a little among his clients and a few 
friends, and then when the case came up in court he 
acknowledged the seven-up and the betting, and, as his 
sole defence, had the astounding eflùrontery to put in the 
plea that old sledge was not a game of chance 1 There 
was the broadest sort of a smile ail over the faces o€ tb^^ 



236 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

sophisticated audience. The judge smiled with the rest 
But Sturgis maintained a countenance whose eamestness 
was even severe. The opposite counsel tried to ridicule 
him out of his position, and did not succeed. The judge 
jested in a ponderous judicial way about the thing, but 
did not move him. The matter was becoming grave. 
The judge lost a little of his patience, and said the joke 
had gone far enough. Jim Sturgis said he knew of no 
joke in the matter — his clients could not be punished for 
indulging in what some pedple chose to consider a game 
of chance until it was proven that it was a game of chance. 
Judge and counsel said that would be an easy matter, 
and forthwith called Deacons Job, Peters, Burke, and 
Johnson, and Dominîes Wirt and Miggles, to testify; 
and they unanimously and with strong feeling put down 
the légal quibble of Sturgis by pronouncing that old 
sledge was a game of chance. 

"What do you call it nowV* said the judge. 

" I call it a game of science ! " retorted Sturgis ; " and 
V\\ prove it, too ! " 

They saw his little game. 

He brought in a cloud of witnesses, and produced an 
overwhelming mass of testimony, to show that old sledge 
was not a game of chance, but a game of science. 

Instead of being the simplest case in the world, it had 

somehow tumed out to be an excessively knotty one. 

The judge scratched his head over it a while, and said 

there was no way of coming to a détermination, because 

Just as many men could be brought into court who would 

testify on one side as could be iouxvd Vo \.<i^V^% oy^ the 

other. But he said he was wiffing to ào ^iîcifci^^x ^\xi!^\s^ 



SCIENCE V. LUCK, 237 

ail parties, and would act upon any suggestion Mr. 
Sturgis would make for the solution of tiie difficulty. 

Mr. Sturgis was on his feet in a second. 

" Impanel a jury of six of each, Luck versus Science ; 
give them candies and a couple of decks of cards, send 
them into the jury room, and just abide by the resuit ! " 

There was no disputing the faimess of the proposition. 
The four deacons and the two dominies were swom in as 
the " chance " jurymen, and six inveterate old seven-up 
professors were chosen to represent the " science " side of 
the issue. They retired to the jury room. 

In about two hours Deacon Peters sent into court to 
borrow three dollars from a friend. [Sensation.] In 
about two hours more Dominie Miggles sent into court to 
borrow a " stake " from a friend. [Sensation.] During 
the next three or four hours the other dominie and the 
other deacons sent into court for small loans. And still 
the packed audience waited, for it was a prodigious occa- 
sion in Buirs Corners, and one in which every father of a 
family was necessarily interested. 

The rest of the story can be told briefly. About day- 
light the jury came in, and Deacon Job, the foreman, read 
the following 

VERDICT. 

We, the jury in the case of the Commonwealth of 
Kentucky vs. John Wheeler et al., hâve carefuUy con- 
sidered the points of the case, and tested the merits of 
the several théories advanced, and do hereby unani- 
mousïy décide that t"he game eoxraaox^ Vûr^n^ «as» ^^^ 
sledge or seven-up is emmervXV^ 2u ^^xû& <A ^ÔK^^^^'«^ 



238 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

not of chance. In démonstration whereof it îs hereby 
and herein stated, iterated, reiterated, set forth, and made 
manifest that, during the entire night the " chance " men 
never won a game or tumed a jack, although both feats 
were common and fréquent to the opposition ; and fur' 
thermore, in support of this our verdict, we call attention 
to the significant fact that the " chance " men are ail 
busted, and the " science " men hâve got the money. It 
is the deliberate opinion of this jury that the " chance " 
theory conceming seven-up is a pemicious doctrine, and 
calculated to înflict untold sufFering and pecuniary loss 
upon any community that takes stock in it. 

" That is the way that seven-up came to be set apart 
and particularised in the statute-books of Kentucky as 
being a game not of chance but of science, and there- 
fore not punishable under the law," said Mr. Knott. 
"That verdict is of record, and holds good to this 
day." 



AURELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG 

MAN. 

The facts in the foUowing case came to me by letter 
from a young lady who lives in the beautiflil city of San 
José ; she is perfectly unknown to me, and simply signs 
herself " Aurélia Maria," which may possibly be a ficti- 
tious name. But no matter, the poor girl is almost 
heart-broken by the misfortunes she has undergone, and 
so confused by the conflicting counsels of misguided 
friends and insidious enemies, that she does not know 
what course to pursue in order to extricate herself from 
the web of difficulties in which she seems almost hope- 
lessly involved. In this dilemma she tums to me for 
help, and supplicates for my guidance and instruction 
with a moving éloquence that would touch the heart of a 
statue. Hear her sad story : 

She says that when she was sixteen years old she met 
and loved, with ail the dévotion of a passionate nature, a 
young man fh)m New Jersey, named Williamson Breckin- 
ridge Caruthers, who was some six years her senior. 
They were engaged, with the free consent of their friends 
and relatives, and for a time it seemed as if their cas^^^ 
was destined to bè charactenseà \5^ ^t^ '-vssssssass^ \L<açs». 
soTîow ibeyond the usual lot ot V>inïaxîVej. ^^ax^^a^ 



242 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

fortably. " Now, what should she do ? " she asks with 
painful and anxious solicitude. 

It is a délicate question ; it is one which involves the 
lifelong happiness of a woman, and that of nearly two- 
thirds of a man, and I feel that it would be assuming too 
great a responsibility to do more than make a mère sug- 
gestion in the case. How would it do to build to him ? 
If Aurélia can afFord the expense, let her fumish her 
mutilated lover with wooden arms and wooden legs, and 
a glass eye and a wig, and give him another show ; give 
him ninety days, without grâce, and if he does not break 
his neck in the meantime, marry him and take the 
chances. It does not seem to me that there is not 
much risk, any way, Aurélia, because if he sticks to his 
singular propensity for damaging himself every time he 
sees a good opportunity, his next experiment is bound to 
finish him, and then you are safe, married or single. If 
married, the wooden legs and such other valuables as 
he may possess revert to the widow, and you see you 
sustain no actual loss save the cherished fragment of a 
noble but most unfortunate husband, who honestly strove 
to do right, but whose extraordinaiy instincts were against 
him. Try it. Maria. I hâve thought the matter over 
carefuUy and well, and it is the only chance I see for 
you. It would hâve been a happy conceit on the part of 
Caruthers if he had started with his neck and broken 
that first; but since he has seen fit to choose a différent 
policy and string himself out as long as possible, I do 
not think we ought to upbraid him for it if he has enjoyed 
it We must do the best we can. undex \)Rft cÀte\3LXo&\axiC.e.s^ 
sind try not to feel exasperated at\v\m. 



MEDIiEVAL ROMANCE. 
CHAPTER I. 

THE SECRET REVEALED. 

It was night Stillness reigned in the grand old feudal 
castle of Klugenstein. The year 1222 was drawing to a 
close. Far away up in the tallest of the castle*s towers 
a single light glimmered. A secret council was being 
held there. The stem old lord of Klugenstein sat in a 
chair of state meditating. Presently he said, with a tender 
accent — 

" My daughter ! " 

A 3roung man of noble présence, clad frora head to 
heel in knightly mail, answered — 

" Speak, father ! '* 

" My daughter, the time is corne for the revealing of 
the mystery that hath puzzled ail your young life. Know, 
then, that it had its birth in the matters which I shall 
now unfold. My brother Ulrich is the great Duke of 
Brandenburgh. Our father, on his death-bed, decreed 
that if no son were bom to Uhîch the succession should 
pass to my house, provided a son ^^x.^ Xi^Tcs. \.'5» ^«sa.- 
Anâ further, in case no son vjete \iOXTv \.o €^5^^^.»^^^^ 
only daughters, then the succeasvoxv ^o\^^ "^"^^ 



244 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

Ulrich's daughter if she proved stainless; if she did 
not, my daughter should succeed if she retained a blame- 
less name. And so I and my old wife hère prayed 
fervently for the good boon of a son, but the prayer 
was vain. You were born to us. I was in despair. 
I saw the mighty prize slipping from my grasp, the 
splendid dream vanishing away. And I had been so 
hopeful ! Five years had Ulrich lived in wedlock, and 
yet his wife had borne no heir of either sex. 

"*But hold,' I said: *all is not lost' A saving 
scheme had shot athwart my brain. You were born at 
midnight. Only the leech, the nurse, and six waiting- 
women knew your sex. I hanged them every one before 
an hour sped. Next moming ail the barony went mad 
with rejoicing over the proclamation that a son was born 
to Klugenstein, an heir to mighty Brandenburgh ! And 
well the secret has been kept. Your mother's own sister 
nursed your infancy, and from that time forward we feared 
nothing. 

" When you were ten years old a daughter was born 
to Ulrich. We grieved, but hoped for good results 
from measles, or physicians, or other natural enemies 
of infancy, but were always disappointed. She lived, 
she throve — Heaven's malison upon herl But it is 
nothing. We are safe. For, ha ha ! hâve we not a 
son ? And is not our son the future Duke ? Otu" well- 
beloved Conrad, is it not so ? — for, woman of eight-and- 
twenty years as you are, my child, none other name than 
that hath ever fallen to you I 
"Now it hath come to pass l\val augt Vv3l>îîsv\^\^\\s Vvand 
vpon my brother, and Ive vraxes îeeXAa. lYva caxçî&^ 



MEDIEVAL ROMANCE, 245 

State do tax him sore. Therefore he wills that you shall 
corne to him and be already Duke in act, though not yet 
in name. Your servitors are ready — ^you joumey forth 
to-night 

" Now listen well. Remember every word I say. There 
is a law as old as Germany, that if any woman sit for a 
single instant in the great ducal chair before she hath 
been absolutely crowned in présence of the people she 
SHALL DIE ! So heed my words. Prétend humility. 
Pronounce your judgments from the Premières chair, 
which stands at the foot of the throne. Do this until 
you are crowned and safe. It is not likely that your 
sex will ever be discovered, but still it is the part of wis- 
dom to make ail things as safe as may be in this treache- 
rous earthly life." 

" Oh, my father, is it for this my life hath been a lie ? 
Was it that I might cheat my unoffending cousin of her 
rights ? Spare me, father, spare your child ! " 

" What, hussy ! Is this my reward for the august for- 
tune my brain has wrought for thee ? By the bones of 
my father, this puUing sentiment of thine but ill accords 
with my humour. Betake thee to the Duke instantly ! 
And beware how thou meddlest with my purpose ! " 

Let this suffice of the conversation. It is enough for 
us to know that the prayers, the entreaties, and the tears 
of the gentle-natured girl availed nothing. Neither they 
nor anything could move the stout old lord of Klugenstein. 
And so, at last, with a heavy heart, the daughter saw the 
castle gâtes close behind her, and found her&eL€ ^^ishs^^ 
away in the darkness surrounàeà \5^ ^. Vkvè^'Ocî -^sx-»^ ^ 
armed vassals and a brave foWomti^ o^ ^^Ts^xsîys». 



246 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

The old baron sat silent for many minutes after his 
daughter's departure, and then he tumed to his sad wife 
and said — 

" Dame, our matters seem speeding fairly. It is full 
three months since I sent the shrewd and handsome 
Count Detzin on his devilish mission to my brother's 
daughter Constance. If he fail we are not wholly safe, 
but if he do succeed no power can bar our girl from being 
Duchess c'en though ill fortune should decree she never 
should be Duke ! " 

" My heart is full of bodings, yet ail may still be 
well." 

" Tush, woman ! Leave the owls to croak. To bed 
with ye, and dream of Brandenburgh and grandeur ! '* 



CHAPTER IL 

FESTIVITY AND TEARS. 



Six days after the occurrences related in the above 
chapter, the brilliant capital of the Duchy of Branden- 
burgh was resplendent with military pageantry, and noisy 
with the rejoicings of loyal multitudes, for Conrad, the 
young heir to the crown, was come. The old Duke's 
heart was full of happiness, for Conrad's handsome person 
and graceful bearing had won his love at once. The 
great halls of the palace were thronged with nobles, who 
welcomed Conrad bravely ; and so bright and happy did 
ail things seem that he felt Yvvs feais axvà ^oxtow^ ^assing 
away, and giving place to a comîoilm^ c.oxi\.ç»Xxùe^V 



MEDIEVAL ROMANCE, 247 

But in a remote apartment of the palace a scène of a 
différent nature was transpiring. By a window stood the 
Duke's only child, the Lady Constance. Her eyes were 
red and swoUen, and fiill of tears. She was alone. Pre- 
sently she fell to weeping anew, and said aloud — 

" The villain Detzin is gone — has fled the dukedom I 
I could not believe it at first, but, alas ! it is too true. 
And I loved him so. I dared to love hîm though I knew 
the Duke my father would never let me wed him. I 
loved him — but now I hâte him ! With ail my soûl I 
hâte him ! Oh, what is to become of me ? I am lost, 
lost, lost ! I shall go mad ! 



CHAPTER III. 

THE PLOT THICKENS. 



A FEW months drifted by. AU men published the 
praises of the young Conrad*s govemment, and extolled 
the wisdom of his judgments, the mercifulness of his sen- 
tences, and the modesty with which he bore himself in 
his great office. The old Duke soon gave everything 
into his hands, and sat apart and listened with proud 
satisfaction while his heir delivered the decrees of the 
crown from the seat of the premier. It seemed plain 
that one so loved and praised and honoured of ail men 
as Conrad was could not be otherwise than happy. But, 
strangely enough, he was not For he saw with disma^j 
that the Princess Constance YvaA \i^^ts. \a ViN^ \sssss.\ 
The love of the rest of tlie y^oiVà v^a^ \i^:^VJ ^^^"^^^ '^'^ 



248 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

hira, but this was freighted with danger 1 And he saw, 
moreover, that the delighted Duke had discovered his 
daughter's passion likewise, and was already dreaming of 
a marriage. Every day somewhat of the deep sadness 
that had been in the princess's face faded away ; every 
day hope and animation beamed brighter from her eye ; 
and by-and-by even vagrant smiles visited the face that 
had been so troubleti. 

Conrad was appalled. He bitterly cutsed himself for 
having yielded to the instinct that had made him seek 
the companionship of one of his own sex when he was 
new and a stranger in the palace — when he was sorrow- 
ful and yeamed for a sympathy such as only women can 
give or feel. He now began to avoid his cousin. But 
this only made matters worse, for, naturally enough, the 
more he a,voided her the more she cast herself in his way. 
He marvelled at this at first, and next it startled him. 
The girl haunted him ; she hunted him ; she happened 
upon him at ail times and in ail places, in the night as 
well as in the day. She seemèd singularly anxious. 
There was surely a mystery somewhere. 

This could not go on for ever. Ail the world was 
talking about it. The Duke was beginning to look per- 
plexed. Poor Conrad was becoming a very ghost through 
dread and dire distress. One day as he was emerging 
from a private anteroom attached to the picture gallery 
Constance confronted him, and, seizing both his hands 
in hers, exclaimed^ 

" Oh, why do you avoid me ? What hâve I done — 
whathave I said, to lose yout Vmi o^moi^ o€ raft — ^for 
surely I had it once ? Conrad, ào iiO\. dçi^^\^^ xxv^^\wx 



MEDIEVAL ROMANCE. 249 

pity a tortured heart ? I cannot, cannot, hold the words 
unspoken longer, lest they kill me — I love you, Con- 
rad ! There, despise me if you must, but they wouidhQ 
uttered ! " 

Conrad was speechless. Constance hesitated a mo- 
ment, and then, misinterpreting his silence, a wild glad- 
ness flamed in her eyes, and she flung her arms about his 
neck and said — 

" You relent ! you relent ! You can love me — you 
wiil love me ! Oh, say you will, my own, my worshipped 
Conrad ! " 

Conrad groaned aloud. A sickly pallor overspread 
his countenance, and he trembled like an aspen. Pre- 
sently, in desperation, he thrust the poor girl from him, 
and cried— 

" You know not what you ask ! It is for ever and 
ever impossible ! " And then he fled like a criminal, 
and left the princess stupefied with amazement. A minute 
afterward she was crying and sobbing there, and Conrad 
was crying and sobbing in his chamber. Both were in 
despair. Both saw ruin staring them in the face. 

By-and-by Constance rose slowly to her feet and moved 
away, saying — 

" To think that he was despising my love at the very 
moment that I thought it was melting his cruel heart ! 
I hâte him 1 He spumed me— did this man — he spurned 
me from him like a dog ! " 



2SO MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE AWFUL REVELATION. 

Time passed on. A settled sadness rested once more 
upon the countenance of the good Duke's daughter. She 
and Conrad were seen together no more now. The Duke 
grieved at this. But as the weeks wore away Conrad's 
colour came back to his cheeks, and his old-time vivacity 
to his eye, and he administered the govemment with a 
clear and steadily ripenmg wisdom. 

Presently a strange whisper began to be heard about 
the palace. It grew louder; it spread farther. The 
gossips of the city got hold of it. It swept the dukedom. 
And this is what the whisper said — 

" The Lady Constance hath given birth to a child ! " 

When the lord of Klugenstein heard it he swung his 
plumed helmet thrice around his head and shouted — 

" Long live Duke Conrad ! — ^for lo, his crown is sure 
from this day forward ! Detzin has done his errand well, 
and the good scoundrel shall be rewarded ! '* 

And he spread the tidings far and wide, and for eight- 
and-forty hours no soûl in ail the barony but did dance 
and sing, carouse and illuminate, to celebrate the great 
event, and ail at proud and happy old Klugenstein's 
cxpense. 



MEDIMVAL ROMANCE. 251 



CHAPTER V. 

THE FRIGHTFUL CATASTROPHE. 

The trial was at hand. Ail the great lords and barons 
of Brandenburgh were assembled in the Hall of Justice 
in the ducal palace. No space was left unoccupied where 
there was room for a spectator to stand or sit Conrad, 
clad in purple and ermine, sat in the premières chair, and 
on either side sat the great judges of the realm. The 
old Duke had stemly commanded that the trial of his 
daughter should proceed without favour, and then had 
taken to his bed broken hearted. His days were num- 
bered. Poor Conrad had begged, as for his veiy life, 
that he might be spared the misery of sitting in judgment 
upon his cousines crime, but it did not avail 

The saddest heart in ail that great assemblage was in 
Conrad*s breast. 

The gladdest was in his father's, for, unknown to his 
daughter "Conrad," the old Baron Klugenstein was 
come, and was among the crowd of nobles, triumphant 
in the swelling fortunes of his house. 

After the heralds had made due proclamation and the 
other preliminaries had foUowed, the vénérable Lord 
Chief Justice said — " Prison er, stand forth ! " 

The unhappy princess rose, and stood unveiled before 
the vast multitude. The Lord Chief Justice continued — 

"Most noble lady, before the great judges of this 
realm it hath been charged and pio\eiv \îwaX. csviX. c>^ VO^ 
wedlock your Grâce hath given YàtÙv mxv\.o ^ 0«^^ -a^c^^ 



252 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

by our ancient law the penalty is death excepting in one 
sole contingency, whereof his Grâce the acting Duke, 
our good Lord Conrad, will advertise you in his solemn 
sentence now ; wherefore give heed." 

Conrad stretched forth the reluctant sceptre, and in 
the self-same moment the womanly heart beneath his 
robe yeamed pityingly toward the doomed prisoner, and 
the tears came into his eyes. He opened his lips to 
speak, but the Lord Chief Justice said quickly — 

" Not there, your Grâce, not there ! It is not lawful to 
pronounce judgment upon any of the ducal line save 

FROM THE DUCAL THRONE ! " 

A shudder went to the heart of poor Conrad, and a 
tremor shook the iron frame of his old father likewise. 
Conrad had not been crowned — dared he profane 
the throne ? He hesitated and tumed pale with fear. 
But it must be done. Wondering eyes were already 
upon him. They would be suspicions eyes if he hesi- 
tated longer. He ascended the throne. Presently he 
stretched forth the sceptre again, and said — 

" Prisoner, in the name of our sovereign lord Ulrich, 
Duke of Brandenburgh, I proceed to the solemn duty 
that hath devolved upon me. Give heed to my words. 
By the ancient law of the land, except you produce the 
partner* of your guilt and deliver him up to the execu- 
tioner you must surely die. Embrace this opportunity 
— save yourself while yet you may. Name the father of 
your child ! " 

A solemn hush fell upon the great court-^a silence so 
profound that men coula \veai t\vrâ qwtv hearts beat. 
Then the princess slowly lumed, m'Ocs. e.^^^ ^^^m\^^ 



medIjEVal romance. 253 

with hâte, and pointing her finger straight at Conrad, 
said — 

" Thou art the man ! " 

An appalling conviction of his helpless, hopeless péril 

struck a chill to Conrad*s heart like the chill of death 

itsel£ What power on earth could save him ! To dis- 

prove the charge he must reveal that he was a woman, 

and for an uncrowned woman to sit in the ducal chair 

was death ! At one and the same moment he and his 

grim old father swooned and fell to the ground. 

****** 

The remainder of this thrilling and eventflil story will 
NOT be found in this or any other publication, either now 
or at any future time. 

The truth is, I hâve got my hero (or heroine) into 
such a particularly close place tluit I do not see how I 
am ever going to get him (or her) out of it again, and 
therefore I will wash my hands of the whole business, 
and leave that person to get out the best way that oflfers 
— or else stay there. I thought it was going to be easy 
enough to straighten out that little difficulty, but it looks 
différent now. 



MISPLACED CONFIDENCE. 

" JusT about the close of that long, hard winter," said 
the Sunday-school superintendent, "as I was wending 
toward my duties one brilliant Sabbath moming, I 
glanced down toward the levée, and there lay the City 
of Hartford steamer ! No mistake about it: there she 
was, puffing and panting after her long pilgrimage 
through the ice. A glad sight ? Well, I should say so I 
And then came a pang right away because I should hâve 
to instruct empty benches, sure ; the youngsters would ail 
be oflf welcomîng the first steamboat of the season. You 
can imagine how surprised I was when I opened the 
door and saw half the benches full ! My gratitude was 
free, large, and sincère. I resolved that they should not 
find me unappreciative. 

" I said, * Boys, you cannot thînk how proud it makes 
me to see you hère, nor what renewed assurance it gives 
me of your affection. I confess that I said to myself, 
as I came along and saw that the City of Hartford was 
in ' 

'''Not but is she though ? ' 

" And, as quick as any flash of lightning, I stood in 
the présence of empty benches \ 1 \vaA XstcwL^i them 
the news myself.^* 



THE WIDOW'S PROTEST. 

One of the saddest things that ever came under my 
notice (said the banker's clerk) was there in Corning, 
during the war. Dan Murphy enlisted as a private, and 
fought very bravely. The boys ail liked him, and when 
a wound by-and-by weakened him down till carrying a 
musket was too heavy work for him, they clubbed to- 
gether and fixed him up as a sutler. He made money 
then, and sent it always to his wife to bank for him. 
She was a washer and ironer, and knew enough by hard 
expérience to keep money when she got it. She didn't 
waste a penny. On the contrary, she began to get 
miserly as her bank account grew. She grieved to part 
with a cent, poor créature, for twice in her hard-working 
life she had known what it was to be hungry, cold, 
friendless, sick, and without a dollar in the world, and 
she had a haunting dread of suflfering so again. Well, 
at last Dan died ; and the boys, in testimony of their 
esteem and respect for him, telegraphed to Mrs. Murphy 
to know if she would like to hâve him embalmed and 
sent home ; when you know the usual custom was to 
dump a poor devil like him into a shallow hole, and thexi 
inform his friends what had bécotai oS. \»ssîi, ^^^:x^* 
Murphy jumped to the condusion X\v^\. Sx. n4Ck\^ ^"^^ 



256 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

cost two or three dollars to embalm her dead husband, 
and so she telegraphed " Yes." It was at the "wake" 
that the bill for embalming arrived and was presented to 
the widow. 

She uttered a wild sad wail that pierced every heart, 
and said, " Sivinty-foive dollars for stooffin' Dan, blister 
their sowls ! Did thim divils suppose I was goin* to 
stairt a Museim, that l'd be dalin' in such expinsive 
curiassities ! " 

The banker's clerk said there was not a dry eye in tlie 
house. 



POLITICAL ECONOMY. 

PoLiTiCAL Economy is the basis of ail good govem- 
ment. The wisest men of ail âges hâve brought to bear 
upon this subject the 

[Hère I was interrupted and informed that a stranger wished to 
see me down at the door. I went and confronted him, and asked to 
know his business, struggling ail the time to keep a tight rein on my 
seething political economy ideas, and not let thera break away from 
me or get tangled in their hamess. And privately 1 wished the 
stranger was in the bottom of the canal with a cargo of wheat on 
top of him. I was ail in a fever, but he was cool. He said he was 
sorry to disturb me, but as he was passing he noticed that I needed 
some lightning-rods. I said, ** Yes, yes — go on— what about it ? " 
He said there was nothing about it, in particular — ^nothing except 
that he would like to put them up for me. I am new to housekeep- 
ing ; hâve been used to hôtels and boarding-houses ail my life. Like 
anybody else of similar expérience, I try to appear (to strangers) to 
be an old housekeeper ; consequently I said in an off-hand way that 
I had been intending for some time to hâve six or eight lightning- 
rods put up, but The stranger started, and looked inquiringly 

at me, but I was serene. I thought that if I chanced to make any 
mistakes he would not catch me by my countenance. He said he 
would rather hâve my custom than any man*s in town. I said, 
** AU right," and started off to wrestle with my great subject again, 
when he called me back and said it would be tMM:ies5»x'^ n^'Sksnss^ 
exactly how many " points '* î wanleâi ^xxX. m^, N<\!k3aX. ^^«sNs» ^^ "^^ 
house I wanted them on, and what qua\\t^ ol to^ 'V v^^^««^^ 



xx. 



258 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

was close quarters for a man not used to the exigencies of house- 
keeping, but I went through creditably, and he probably ne ver sus- 
pected that I was a novice, I told him to put up eight ** points," 
and put them ail on the roof, and use the best quality of rod. He 
said he could fumish the "plain " article at 20 cents a foot ; ** cop- 
pered," 25 cents; "zinc-plated, spiral- twist," at 30 cents, that 
would stop a streak of lightning any time, no matter where it was 
bound, and "render its errand harmless and its further progress 
apocrjrphal." I said apocrjrphal was no slouch of a word, émanât - 
ing from the source it did, but, philology aside, I liked the spiral - 
twist and would take that brand. Then he said he could make two 
hundred and fifty feet answer ; but to do it right, and make the best 
job in town of it, and attract the admiration of the just and the 
unjust alike, and compel ail parties to say they never saw a more 
symmetrical and hypothetical display of lightning-rods since they 
were bom, he supposed he really couldn't get along vdthout four 
hundred, though he was not vindictive, and trusted he was willing 
to try. I said, go ahead and use four hundred, and make any kind 
of a job he pleased out of it, but let me get back to my work. So 
I got rid of him at last ; and now, after half-an-hour spent in get- 
ting my train of political economy thoughts coupled together again, 
I am ready to go on once more.] 

richest treasures of their genius, their expérience of life, 
and their leaming. The great lights of commercial juris- 
prudence, international confraternity, and biological dé- 
viation, of ail âges, ail civilisations, and ail nationalities, 
from Zoroaster down to Horace Greeley, hâve 

[Hère I was interrupted again, and required to go down and con- 
fer further with that lightning-rod man. I hurried off, boiling and 
surging with prodigious thoughts wombed in words of such majesty 
that each oue of them was in itself a straggling procession of sylla- 
hles that might be fifteen minutes passing a given point, and once 

more I confronted him — he so ca\maTià sviee\.,\ ç.ç>\vo\. ^.Tv^it«!fl.vtd. 

He was standing in the contempVaXivçi atXVtoAft ol VîtA C^oraso^ ^ 



POLITICAL ECONOMY, 259 

Rhodes, with one foot on my infant tuberose, and the other among 
my pansies, his hands on his hips, his hat-brim tilted forward, one 
eye shut and the other gazing critically and admiringly in the 
direction of my principal chimney. He said now there was a state 
of things to make a man glad to be alive ; and added, ** I leave it 
\.o you if you ever saw anything more deliriously picturesque than 
eight lightning-rods on one chimney?'* I said I had no présent 
recollection of anything that transcended it. He said that in his 
opinion nothing on this earth but Niagara Falls was superior to it in 
the way of natural scenery. AU that was needed now, he verily 
beUeved, to make my house a perfect balm to the eye, was to kind 
of touch up the other chimneys a little, and thus **add to the 
gênerons coup d^œil a soothing uniformity of achievement which 
would allay the excitement natnrally conséquent upon the first coup 

. (Tétat" I asked him if he leamed to talk out of a book, and if I 
could borrow it anywhere ? He smiled pleasantly, and said that his 
manner of speaking was not taught in books, and that nothing but 
familiarity with lightning could enable a man to handle his conver- 
sational style with impunity. He then figured up an estimate, and 
said that about eight more rods scattered about my roof would about fix 
me right, and he guessed five hundred feet of stuff would do it ; and 
added that the first eight had got a little the start of him, so to 
speak, and used up a mère trifle of material more than he had cal- 
culated on — a hundred feet or along there. I said I was in a 
dreadful hurry, and I wished we could get this business permanently 
mapped out, so that I could go on with my work. He said, " I 
could hâve put up those eight rods, and marched off about my 
business — some men would hâve donc it. But no : I said to myself, 
this man is a stranger to me, and I will die before l'U wrong him ; 
there ain*t lightùing-rods enough on that house, and for one l'U 
never stir out of my tracks till l've done as I would be done by, and 
told him so. Stranger, my duty is accomplished ; if the récalcitrant 

and dephlogistic messenger of heaven strikes your " " There, 

now, there," I said, " put on the other eight — add five huxsjix^«5s.^'«x 
of spiral twist — do anything and e\et^t\àxx^ '^ow >n^5\\. \.c> ^on^'^'î^ 
càïm your sufferingSf and try to keep "^oux ie«^^xv^ N^Vet^ ^«^ ^^^ 

rcach tbem with the dictionary. "M.eaaw\v\\^, *\i ^«^ \xxA«^^^^^ '^ 



26o MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

other now, I will go to work again." I think I hâve been sittixig 
hère a full hour, this time, trying to get back to where I was when 
my train of thought was broken up by the last interruption ; but I 
believe I hâve accomplished it at last, and raay venture to proceed 
again.] 

wrestled with this great subject, and the greatest among 
them hâve found it a worthy adversary, and one that 
always cornes up fresh and smiling after every throw. 
The mighty Confucius said that he would rather be a 
profound polîtical economist than chief of police. Cicero 
frequently said that poHtical economy was the grandest 
consummation that the human mind was capable of con- 
suming ; and even our own Greeley has said vaguely but 
forcibly that 

[Hère the lightning-rod man sent up another call for me. I Mrent 
down in a state of mind bordering on impatience. He said he 
would rather hâve died than intemipt me, but when he was employed 
to do a job, and that job was expected to be done in a clean 
workmanlike manner, and when it was finished and fatigue urged 
him to seek the rest and récréation he stood so much in need of, and 
he was about to do it, but looked up and saw at a glance that ail 
the calculations had been a little out, and if a thunderstorm were to 
corne up and that house which he felt a personal interest in stood 
there with nothing on earth to protect it but sixteen lightning- 

rods ** Let us hâve peace !" I shrieked. ** Put up a hundred 

and fifty ! Put some on the kitchen ! Put a dozen on the bam ! 
Put a couple on the cow ! — put one on the cook !— scatter them ail 
over the persecuted place till it looks like a zinc-plated, spiral- 
twisted, silver-mounted cane-brake I Move I Use up ail the 
material you can get your hands on, and when you run out of 
lightning-rods put up ram-rods, cam-rods, stair-rods, piston-rods — 
anything that will pander to your dismal appetite for artificial 
scenery, and bring respite to my raging brain and healing to my 



POLITICAL ECONOMY. 261 

lacerated soûl !" WhoUy unmoved — further than to smile sweetly 
— this iron being simply tumed back his wristbands daintily, and 
said ** He would now proceed to hump himself." Well, ail that 
was nearly three hours ago. It is questionable whether I am calm 
enough yet to write on the noble thème of political economy, but I 
cannot resist the désire to try, for it is the one subject that is nearest 
to my heart and dearest to my brain of ail this world's philosophy.] 

"Political economy is heaven's best boon to man." 
When the loose but gifted Byron lay in his Venetian 
exile he observed that, if it could be granted him to go 
back and live his misspent life over again, he would give 
his lucid and unintoxicated intervais to the composition, 
not of frivolous rhymes, but of essays upon political 
economy. Washington loved this exquisite science; 
such names as Baker, Beckwith, Judson, Smith, are 
imperishably linked with it ; and even impérial Homer, 
in the ninth book of the Iliad, has said : 

" Fiat justitia, ruât cœlum, 
Post mortem unum, ante bellum, 
Hic jacet hoc, ex-parte res, 
Politicum e-conomico est." 

The grandeur of thèse conceptions of the old poet, 
together with the felicity of the wording which clothes 
them, and the sublimity of the imagery whereby they are 
illustrated, hâve singled out that stanza, and made it 
more celebrated than any that ever 

[** Now, not a word out of you — not a single word. Just state 
your bill and relapse into impénétrable silence for ever and ever on 
thèse premises. Nine hundred dollars ? Is that ail ? This chèque 
for the amount will be honoured at any respectable bank in America. 
What is that multitude of people gathered in the street for ? How ? 



202 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

— * looking at the lightning-rods ! ' Bless my life, did they ne ver 
see any lightning-rods before ? Never saw * such a stack of them 
on one establishment,* did I understand you to say ? I will step 
down and critically observe this popular ebullition of ignorance."] 

Three Days Later. — We are ail about worn out 
For four-and-twenty hours our bristling premises were 
the talk and wonder of the town. The théâtres lan- 
guished, for their happiest scenic inventions were tame 
and commonplace compared with my lightning-rods. 
Our Street was blocked night and day with spectators, 
and among them were many who came from the country 
to see. It was a blessed relief, on the second day, when 
a thunder-storm came up and the lightning began to " go 
for " my house, as the historian Josephus quaintly phrases 
it. It cleared the galleries, so to speak. In five minutes 
there was not a spectator within half a mile of my place ; 
but ail the high houses about that distance away were 
full, Windows, roof, and ail. And well they might be, for 
ail the falling stars and Fourth of July fireworks of a 
génération, put together and rained down simultaneously 
out of heaven in one brilliant shower upon one helpless 
roof, would not hâve any advantage of the pyrotechnie 
display that was making my house so magnificently con- 

^ spicuous in the gênerai gloom of the storm. By actual 
count, the lightning struck at my establishment seven 
hundred and sixty-four times in forty minutes, but tripped 
on one of those faithful rods every time, and slid down 
the spiral twist and shot into the earth before it probably 
had time to be surprised at the way the thing was done. 
And through ail that bombardment only one patch of 

slates was ripped up, and thaï was 'b^ca\3i^^, lot ^ 'âx^^e 



POLITICAL ECONOMY, 263 

instant, the rods in the vicinity were transporting ail the 
lightning they could possibly accommodate. Well, no- 
thing was ever seen like it since the world began. For 
one whole day and night not a member of my family put 
his head out of the window but he got the hair snatched 
oflf it as smooth as a billiard-ball ; and, if the reader will 
believe me, not one of us ever dreamt of stirring abroad. 
But at last the awful siège came to an end — because 
there was absolutely no more electricity left in the clouds 
above us within grappling distance of my insatiable rods. 
Then 1 sallied forth, and gathered daring workmen to- 
gether, and not a bite or a nap did we take till the 
premises were utterly stripped of ail their terrifie arma- 
ment except just three rods on the house, one on the 
kitchen, and one on the bam — ^and behold thèse remain 
there even unto this day. And then, and not till then, 
the people ventured to use our street again. I will 
remark hère, in passing, that during that fearful time I 
did not continue my essay upon political economy. I 
am not even yet settled enough in nerve and brain to 
résume it. 

To Whom it May Concern. — Parties having need of 
three thousand two hundred and eleven feet of best 
quality zinc-plated spiral-twist lightning-rod stuflf, and 
sixteen-hundred and thirty-one silver-tipped points, ail in 
tolerable repair (and, although much wom by use, still 
equal to any ordinary emergency), can hear of a bargain 
by addressing the publisher. 



THE KILLING OF JULIUS C^ESAR 

"LOCALISED." 

Being the only true and r diable account ever puhlished ; 
taken from the Roman " Daily Evening Fasces*^ of the 
date ofthat tretnendous occurrence, 

NoTHiNG in the world affords a newspaper reporter so 
much satisfaction as gathering up the détails of a bloody 
and mysterious murder, and writing them up with aggra- 
vating circumstantiality. He takes a living delight in 
this labour of love — for such it is to him — especially if he 
knows that ail the other papers hâve gone to press, and 
his will be the only one that will contain the dreadful 
intelligence. A feeling of regret has often corne over 
me that I was not reporting in Rome when Caesar was 
killed — reporting on an evening paper, and the only one 
in the city, and getting at least twelve hours ahead of the 
moming paper boys "vvith this most magnificent " item " 
that ever fell to the lot of the craft, Other events hâve 
happened as startling as this, but none that possessed so 
peculiarly ail the characteristics of the favourite ** item " 
of the présent day, magnified into grandeur and sublimity 
hy the high rank, famé, and social and political standing 
of the actors in ît. In imagvi\a\.\oxv 1 \vaN^ %ç:^w xc^'s.^ 



THE KILLING OF JULIUS CjESAR. 265 

skirmishing around old Rome, button-holing soldiers, 
senators, and citizens by turns, and transferring ** ail the 
particulars " from them to my note-book. 

Ah !* if I had lived in those days, I would hâve written 
up that item gloatingly, and spiced it with a little moral- 
izing hère and plenty of blood there ; and some dark, 
shuddering mystery ; and praise and pity for some, and 
misrepresentation and abuse for others (who did not 
patronize the paper), and gory gashes, and notes of 
waming as to the tendency of the times, and extravagant 
descriptions of the excitement in the Senate-house and 
the Street, and ail that sort of thing. 

Howeverj as I was not permitted to report Caesar's 
assassination the regular way, it has at least afforded me 
rare satisfaction to translate the following able account of 
it from the original Latin of the Roman Daily Evening 
Fasces of that date — second édition : — 

" Our usually quiet city of Rome was thrown into a 
State of wild excitement yesterday by the occurrence of 
one of those bloody afïrays which sicken the heart, and 
fill the soûl with fear, while they inspire ail thinking men 
with forebodings for the future of a city where human 
life is held so cheaply, and the gravest laws are so openly 
set at défiance. As the resuit of that aôray, it is our 
painful duty, as public joumalists, to record the death 
of one of our most esteemed citizens — a man whose 
name is known wherever this paper circulâtes, and whose 
famé it has been our pleasure and our privilège to ex- 
tend, and also to protect from the tongue of slander and 
falsehood to the best of our poor ab\\Vq. "^^ ^^^^xr» 
Mr. ], Cœsar, the EmperoT-elecl. 



266 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

" The facts of the case, as nearly as our reporter could 
détermine them from tlie conflicting statements of eye- 
witnesses, were about as follows : — The afFair was an 
élection row, of course. Nine-tenths of the ghastly 
butcheries that disgrâce the city now-adays grow eut of 
the bickerings, and jealousies, and animosities engendered 
by thèse accursed élections. Rome would be the gainer 
by it if her very constables were elected to serve a century ; 
for in our expérience we hâve never even been able to 
choose a dog-pelter without celebrating the event with a 
dozen knock-downs, and a gênerai cramming of the 
station-house with drunken vagabonds over night. It is 
said that when the immense majority for Caesar at the 
poils in the market was declared the other day, and the 
crown was ofifered to that gentleman, even his amazing 
unselfishness in refiising it three times was not sufficient 
to save him from the whispered insults of such men as 
Casca, of the Tenth Ward, and other hirelings of the 
disappointed candidate, hailing mostly from the Eleventh 
and Thirteenth and other outside districts, who were 
overheard speaking ironically and contemptuously of 
Mr. Caesar's conduct upon that occasion. 

" We are further informed that there are many among 
us who think they are justified in believing that the 
assassination of Julius Caesar was a put-up thing — a cut- 
and-dried arrangement, hatched by Marcus Brutus and a 
lot of his hired roughs, and carried out only too faithfully 
according to the progranmie. Whether there be good 
grounds for this suspicion or not, we leave to the people 
to judge for themselves, only asking that they will 
read the foUowing account oi ^^ ^^ ^ç-cvxrt^xsK.^ 



THE KILLING OF JULIUS CJESAR. 267 

carefiilly and dispassionately before they render that 
judgment 

" The Senate was already in session, and Caesar was 
coming down the street towards the capitol, conversing 
with some personal friands, and followed, as usual, by a 
large number of citizens. Just as he was passing in front 
of Demosthenes and Thucydides's drug-store, he was 
observing casually to a gentleman, who, our informant 
thinks, is a fortune-teller, that the "ides of March were 
corne. The reply was, * Yes, they are come but not gone 
yet/ At this moment Artemidorus stepped up and 
passed the time of day, and asked Caesar to read a 
schedule or a tract, or something of the kind, which he 
had brought for his perusal. Mr. Decius Brutus also 
said something about an * humble suit * which he wanted 
read. Artemidorus begged that attention might be paid 
to his first, because it was of personal conséquence to 
Caesar. The latter replied that what concemed himself 
should be read last, or words to that efifect Artemidorus 
begged and beseeched him to read the paper instantly.* 
However, Caesar shook him ofif, and refrised to read any 
pétition in the street. He then entered the capitol, and. 
the crowd followed him. 

" About this time the foUowing conversation was over- 
heard, and we consider that, taken in connection with 
the events which succeeded it, it bears an appalling sig- 
nificance. Mr. Papilius Lena remarked to George W. 

* Mark that : it is hinted by William Shakspeare, who saw the 
beginning and the end of the unfortunate affray, that this ** schedule" 
was simply a note discovering to Caesar that a ^lot ^^s» VstfcNrôssj^ \a 
take his life. 



268 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

Cassius (commonly known as the *Nobby Boy of the 
Third Ward/) abruiser in the pay of the Opposition, that 
he hoped his enterprise to-day might thrive ; and whea 
Cassius asked, *What enterprise?' he only closed his 
left eye temporarily, and said with simulated indifférence, 
* Fare you well,' and sauntered towards Caesar. Marcus 
Brutus, who is suspected of being the ringleader of the 
band that killed Caesar, asked what it was that Lena had 
said. Cassius told him, and added in a low tone, * Ifear 
our purpose is discovered.^ 

" Brutus told his wretched accomplice to keep an eye 
on Lena, and a moment after Cassius urged that lean 
and hungry vagrant, Casca, whose réputation hère is 
none of the best, to be sudden, for he feared prévention. 
He then tumed to Brutus, apparently much excited, and 
asked what should be done, and swore that either he or 
Caesar should never turn back — he would kill himself first 
At this time Caesar was talking to some of the back- 
country members about the approaching fall élections, 
and paying little attention to what was going on around 
him. Billy Trebonius got into conversation with the 
people's friend and Caesar's — Mark Antony — and under 
some pretence or other got him away, and Brutus, Decius, 
Casca, Cinna, Metellus Cimber, and others of the gang 
of infamous desperados that infest Rome at présent, 
closed around the doomed Caesar. Then Metellus 
Cimber knelt down and begged that his brother might 
be recalled from banishment, but Caesar rebuked him for 
his fawning, sneaking conduct, and refiised to grant his 
pétition. Immediately, at Cimbefs request, first Brutus 
anà then Cassius begged for the retum of the banished 



THE KILLING OF JULIUS CJESAR. 269 

Publias ; but Caesar stiU refused. He saîd he could not 
be moved ; that he was as fixed as the North Star, and 
proceeded to speak in the most complimentary tenus of 
the firmness of that star, and its steady character. Then 
he said he was like it, and he believed he was the only 
man in the country that was ; therefore, since he was 
* constant' that Cimber should be banished, he was also 
' constant ' that he should stay banished, and he'd be 
d — d if he didn't keep him so ! 

"Instantly seizing upon this shallow pretext for a 
fight, Casca sprung at Caesar and struck him with a dirk, 
Caîsar grabbing him by the arm with his right hand, and 
laùnching a blow straight from the shoulder with his 
left, that sent the reptile bleeding to the earth. He 
then backed up against Pompe/s statue, and squared 
himself to receive his assailants. Cassius and Cimber 
and Cinna rushed upon him with their daggers drawn, 
and the former succeeded in inflicting a wound upon his 
body; but before he could strike again, and before 
either of the others could strike at ail, Caesar stretched 
the three miscreants at his feet with as many blows of 
his powerful fist. By this time the Senate was in an 
indescribable uproar ; the throng of citizens in the lobbies 
had blockaded the doors in their frantic efforts to escape 
from the building, the sergeant-at-arms and his assistants 
were struggling with the assassins, vénérable senators had 
cast aside their encumbering robes, and were leaping 
over benches and flying down the aisles in wild confusion 
towards the shelter of the committee-rooms, and a thou- 
sand voices were shouting * Po-lice ! Po-lice !' in dis- 
cordant tones that rose above the frightful din Uka. 



270 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

shrieking winds above the roaring of a tempest. And 
amid it ail, great Caesar stood with his back against the 
statue, like a lion at bay, and fopight his assailants wea- 
ponless and hand to hand, with the défiant bearing and the 
unwavering courage which he had shown before on many 
a bloody field. Billy Trebonius and Caius Legarius 
struck him with their daggers and fell, as their brother- 
conspirators before them had fallen. But at last, when 
Caesar saw his old friend Brutus step forward, armed 
with a murderous knife, it is said he seemed utterly over- 
powered with grief and amazement, and dropping his 
invincible left arm by his side, he hid his face in the 
folds of his mantle and received the treacherous blow 
without an effort to stay the hand that gave it. He only 
said, ^ Et tu, Brute V and fell lifeless on the marble 
pavement. 

" We leam that the coat deceased had on when he 
was killed was the same he wore in his tent on the after- 
noon of the day he overcame the Nervii, and that when 
it was removed from the corpse it was found to be eut 
and gashed in no less than seven différent places. There 
was nothing in the pockets. It will be exhibited at the 
coroner's inquest, and will be damning proof of the fact 
of the killing. Thèse latter facts may be relied on, as 
we get them from Mark Antony, whose position enables 
him to leam every item of news connected with the one 
subject of absorbing interest of to-day. 

" Later. — While the coroner was summoning a jury. 
Mark Antony and other fnexids of the late Caesar got 
hold of the body, and luggeà *\l oft lo >2cvç, "Somm.^iaA 
at last accounts Antony and Btutyi^v^ex^TwàÎM^^^^^^^"^ 



THE .KILLING OF JULIUS CjESAR, 271 

over it and raising such a row among the people that, 
as we go to press, the chief of police is satisfied 
there is going to be a riot, and is taking measures 
accordingly/' 



AN ITEM WHICH THE EDITOR HIMSELF 
COULD NOT UNDERSTAND. 

OuR esteemed friend, Mr. John William Skae, of Vir- 
ginia City, walked into the office where we are sub-editor 
at a late hour last night, with an expression of profound 
and heartfelt suffering upon his countenance, and sighing 
heavily, laid the foUowing item reverently upon the desk, 
and walked slowly out again. He paused a moment 
at the door, and seemed struggling to command his 
feelings sufficiently to enable him to speak, and then 
nodding his head towards his manuscript, ejaculated in 
a broken voice, " Friend of mine — oh ! how sad !" and 
burst into tears. We were so moved at his distress that 
we did not think to call him back and endeavour to 
comfort him until he was gone, and it was too late. The 
paper had already gone to press, but knowing that our 
friend would consider the publication of this item im- 
portant, and cherishing the hope that to print it would 
afford a melancholy satisfaction to his sorrowing heart, 
we stopped the press at once and inserted it in our 
columns : 

JDiSTRESSiNG Accident. — ^Last evening, about six o'clock, as 
Mr, William Schuyler, ano\daTidTes^^c'<20o\t6.^TMiçA'$»wi.^"Ç^^^ 
was leaving his résidence to go doYiiv. lo^ti, «& 'Vias \««». >»& m^^ 



MR. SKAES ITEM. 273 

custom for many years, with the exception only of a short interval 
in the spring of 1850, during which he was confined to his bed by 
injuries received in attempting to stop a ninaway horse by thought- 
lessly placing himself directly in his wake and throwing up his hands 
and shouting, which, if he had done so even a single moment 
sooner, must inevitably hâve frightened the animal still more in- 
stead of checking its speed, although disastrous enough to himself 
as it was, and rendered more melancholy and distressing by rea- 
son of the présence of his wife's mother, who was there and saw 
the sad occurrence, notwithstanding it is at least likely, though 
not necessarily so, that she should be reconnoitering in another 
direction when incidents occur, not being vivacious and on the look- 
out, as a gênerai thing, but even the reverse, as her own mother is 
said to hâve stated, who is no more, but died in the fuU hope of a 
glorious résurrection, upwards of three years ago, aged 86, being a 
Christian woman and without guile, as it were, or property, in con- 
séquence of the fire of 1849, which destroyed every thing she had 
in the world. But such is life. Let us ail take waming by this 
solemn occurrence, and let us endeavour so to conduct ourselves 
that when we corne to die we can do it. Let us place our hands 
upon our hearts, and say with earnestness and sincerity that from 
this day forth we will beware of the intoxicating bowL — First 
Edition ofthe Califomian. 

The chief editor has been in hère raising the mischief, 
and tearing his hair, and kicking the furniture about, 
and abusing me like a pickpocket. He says that every 
time he leaves me in charge of the paper for half-an- 
hour, I get imposed upon by the first infant or the first 
idiot that comes along. And he says that that distressing" 
item of Johnny Skae's is nothing but a lot of distressing 
bosh, and has no point to it, and no sensé and no infcii:- 
mation in it, and that there was xio ^^cdîc^^ TiR.cfc'5»i>îs^ '^s2k. 
stoppÎDg the press to publisli it. "S.^ ^"^.^^ '^^'^ ^-^^^ 



374 MARK TIVAIATS SKETCHES. 

man he meets has inSinuated that somebody about The 
Californian Office has gone crazy. 

Now ail this cornes of being good-hearted. If I had 
been as unaccommodating and unsympathetic as some 
people, I would hâve told Johnny Skae that I wouldri't 
receive his communication at such a late hour, and to 
go to grass with it ; but no, his snuffling distress touched 
my heart, and I jumped at the chance of doing some- 
thing to modify his misery. I never read his item to see 
whether there was anything wrong about it, but hastily 
wrote the few lines which preceded it, and sent it to the 
printers. And what has my kindness done for me ? It 
has done nothing but bring down upon me a storm of 
abuse and omamental blasphemy. 

Now I will just read that item myself, and see if there 
is any foundation for ail this fuss. And if there is, tfie 
author of it shall hear from me. 

* * » « 

I hâve read it, and I am bound to admit that it seems 
a little mixed at a first glance. However, I will peruse 
it once more. 

» * * ♦ 

I hâve read it again, and ît does really seem a good 
deal more mixed than ever. 

* ♦ * * 

I hâve read it over five times, but îf I can get at the 

meaning of it, I wish I may get my just déserts* ït 

won\ bear analysis. There are things about it which' I 

cannot understand at a\\. Il doTi\ ^ay what ever became 

of WïJliam Sclmylei, Il '^usl s»a^^ ç.xvowjgcv ^wi.\.\C\sft.\ci 

get OTÏQ interested iu Vis cax^ex, axv^ ^^^ ^^'av^'^ ^^^ku 



MR, SKAE'S ITEM. 275 

Who is William Schuyler, anyhôw, and what part of 
South Park did he live in, and if he started down town at 
six o'clock, did he ever get there, and if he did, did any- 
thing happen to him ? Is ^ the individual that met with 
the distressing accident"? Considering the elaborate 
circumstantiality of détail observable in the item, it seems 
to me that it ought to contain more information than it 
does. On the contrary, it is obscure — and not only 
obscure, but utterly incompréhensible. Was the break- 
ing of Mr. Schuyler's leg, fifleen years ago, the " dis- 
tressing accident *' that plunged Mr. Skae into unspeak- 
able grief, and caused him to come up hère at dead of 
night and stop our press to acquaint the world with the 
circumstance ? Or did the " distressing accident " con- 
sist in the destruction of Schuyler*s mother-in-law*s pro- 
perty in early times ? Or did it consist in the death of 
that person herself three years ago ? (albeit it does not 
appear that she died by accident.) In a word, what did 
that " distressing accident " consist in ? What did that 
ass of a Schuyler stand in the wake of a runaway horse 
for, with his shouting and gesticulation, if he wanted to 
stop him ? And how the mischief could he get run over 
by a horse that had already passed beyond him ? And 
what are we to take "waming" by? and how is this 
extraordinary chapter of incomprehensibilities going to 
be a "lesson" to us? And above ail, what has the 
" intoxicating bowl " got to do with it, anyhow ? It is 
not stated that Schuyler drank, or that his wife drank, or 
that his mother-in-law drank, or that the horse drank — 
wherefore, then, the référence to the intoxicating bowl? 
It does seem to me that, if Mr. S\La^\v2À\ç:l\.x^^^xCM5rKL- 



276 MARK TWAIJSrS SKETCHES, 

cating bowl alone himself, he never would hâve got into 
so much trouble about this imaginary distressing acci- 
dent. I hâve read his absurd item over and over again, 
with ail its insinuating plausibility, until my head swims ; 
but I can make neither head nor tail of it. There cer- 
tainly seems to hâve been an accident of some kind or 
other, but it is impossible to détermine what the nature 
of it was, or who was the sufferer by it. I do not like to 
do it, but I feel compelled to request that the next time 
anything happens to one of Mr. Skae's friends, he will 
append such explanatory notes to his account of it as 
will enable me to find out what sort of an accident it was 
and whom it happened to. I had rather ail his friends 
should die than that I should be driven to the verge of 
lunacy again in trying to cipher out the meaning of 
another such production as the above. 



BACK FROM "YURRUP." 

Hâve you ever seen a family of geese just back from 
Europe — or Yurrup, as they pronounce it ? They never 
talk to you, of course, being strangers, but they talk to 
each other and at you till you are pretty nearly distracted 
with their clàtter; till you are sick of their océan expé- 
riences j their mispronounced foreign names ; their dukes 
and emperors; their trivial adventures; their pointless 
réminiscences ; till you are sick of their imbécile faces 
and their relentless clack, and wish it had pleased Provi- 
dence to leave the clapper out of their empty skulls. 

I travelled with such a family one eternal day, from 
New York to Boston, last week. They had spent just a 
year in " Yurrup," and were returning home to Boston. 
Papa said little, and looked bored — he had simply been 
down to New York to receive and cart home his cargo 
of travelled imbecility. Sister Angeline, aged 23, sister 
Augusta, aged 25, and brother Charles, aged 2iZ^ did the 
conversational drivel, and mamma purred and admired, 
and threw in some help when occasion offered, in the 
way of remembering some French barber's — I should say 
some French Counf s — name, when they pretended to 
hâve forgotten it. They occupied the choice seats in the 
parlour of the drawing-room car, and for tw^V^^VsK^ss-^ 



278 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

sat opposite to them — was their vis-à-vis, they would hâve 
said, in their charming French way. 

Augusta. — " Plague that nahsty (nasty) steamer ! IVe 
the headache yet, she roUed so the fifth day out." 

Angdine. — "And well you may. /never saw such a 
nahsty old tub. I never want to go in the Ville de Paris 
again. Why didn't we go over to London and corne in 
the Scotia ? " 

Augusta. — " Because we were fools ! " 

[I endorsed that sentiment] 

Angdine, — " Gustie, what made Count Nixkumarouse 
drive off looking so blue, that last Thursday in Pairy? 
(Paris, she meant.) Ah, own up, now!" (tapping her 
arm so rogtiishly with her ivory fan.) 

Augusta, — " Now, Angie, how you talk ! I told the 
nahsty créature I would not receive his attentions any 
longer. And the old duke his father kept boring me 
about him and his two million francs a year till I sent 
him off with a flea in his ear/' 

Chorus,-^'' Ke-he-he ! Ha-ha-ha ! " 

Charles, — [PuUing a small silken cloak to pièces.] 
"Angie, where'dVou get this cheap thing?" 

Angdine, — " You ChoUy, let that alone ! Cheap ! 
Well, how could I help it? There we were, tied up in 
Switzerland — ^just down from Mon Blong (Mont Blanc, 
doubtless) — couldn*t buy anything in those nahsty shops 
so far away from Pairy. I had to put up with that 
slimpsy forty-doUar rag — but bless you, I couldn't go 
nakeà j " 
^:;^/^j.._« Ke-he-he r* 
augusta.—-'' Guess who 1 wacs ùànV^v^ oll TWsîsfc 



BACK ^ROM 'WURRUPP 279 

ignorant persons we saw first in Rome and afterwards in 
Venice — those " 

Angeline. — " Oh, ha-ha-ha ! He-e-he ! It was so funny ! 
Papa, one of them called the Santa délia Spiggiola the 
Santa délia Spizziola ! Ha-ha-ha ! And she thought it 
was Canova that did Michael Angelo's Moses ! Only 
think of it ! — Canova a sculptor and the Moses a picture ! 
I thought I should die ! I guess I let them see by the 
way I laughed, that the)r*d made fools of themselves, 
because they blushed and sneaked off/' 

[Papa laughed faintly, but not with the easy grâce of a 
man who was certain he knew what he was laughing 
about] 

Augusta, — " Why ChoUy ! Where did you get those 
nahsty Beaumarchais gloves ? Well, I wouldtUt^ if I were 
you l " 

Mamma, — [With uplifted hands.] " Beaumarchais, my 
son ! " 

Angeline, — " Beaumarchais ! Why how can you ! No- 
body in Pairy wears those nahsty things but the com- 
monest people." 

Charles, — " They are a rum lot, but then Tom Bien- 
nerhasset gave *em to me — he wanted to do something 
or other to curry favour, I s'pose." 

Angeline, — " Tom Blennerhasset !" 

Augusta. — " Tom Blennerhasset ! ** 

Mamma, — " Tom Blennerhasset ! And hâve you been 
associating with him ? " 

Papa. — [Suddenly interested.] "Heavei^s^ \^Vas.\^as^ 
the son ofan honoured anà Yioivovvw2Ci\^ OA Siv^x^^^^'^^ 
doing?" 



28o MARK TWAIN'S SFCETCHES. 

Chorus. — " Doing ! Why, his father has endorsed 
himself bankrupt for firiends — that's what*s the matter ! " 

Angdine, — " Oh, mon Dieu, j*ai faim ! Avez- vous 
quelque chose de bon, en votre poche, mon cher frère ? 
Excuse me for speaking French, for, to tell the truth, I 
haven't spoken English for so long that it comes dreadful 
awkward. Wish we were back in Yurrup — c'est votre 
désire aussi, n'est-ce pas, mes chères j* '* 

And from that moment they lapsed into barbarous 
French and kept it up for an hour — ^hesitating, gasping 
for words, stumbling head over heels through adverbs and 
participles, floundering among adjectives, working miracles 
of villainous pronunciation — and neither one of them by 
any chance ever understanding what another was driving 
at 

By that time some new corners had entered the car, 
and so they lapsed into English again and fell to holding 
everything American up to scom and contumely in order 
t^' .t they might thus let those new-comers know they 
were just home from " Yurrup.'* To use their pet and 
best beloved phrase, they were a "nahsty'* family of 
American snobs, and there ought to be a law against 
allowing such to go to Europe and misrepresent the 
nation. It will take thèse insects five years, without 
doubt, to get donc tuming up their noses at everything 
American, and making damaging comparisons between 
their own country and " Yurrup." Let us pity their 
waiting friends in Boston in their affliction. 



MORE DISTINCTION. 

I HAVE become an honorary member of the Western 
New York Poultry Society, and my ambition is satisfied. 

Seriously, from early youth I hâve taken an especial 
interest in the subject of poultry-raising, and so this 
membership touches a ready sympathy in my breast 
Even as a school boy, poultry-raising was a study with 
me, and I may say without egotism that as early as the 
âge of seventeen I was acquainted with ail the best and 
speediest methods of raising chickens, from raising them 
off a roost by buming lucifer matches under their noses, 
down to lifting them off a fence on a frosty night by in- 
sinuating the end of a warm board under their heels. By 
the time I was twenty years old, I really suppose I had 
raised more poultry than any one individual in ail the 
section round about there. The very chickens came to 
know my talent, by and by. The youth of both sexes 
ceased to paw the earth for worms, and old roosters that 
came to crow, " remained to pray," when I passed by. 

I hâve had so much expérience in the raising of fowls 
that I cannot but think that a few hints from me might 
be useful to the Society. The two methods I hâve 
already touched upon are very simple, and are only used 
in the raising of the commonest class of fowls ; one is fox. 



282 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

Summer, the other for Winter. In the one case, you 
start out with a friend along about eleven o'clock on a 
Summer's night, (not later, because in some States — espe- 
cially in Califomia and Oregon — chickens always rouse up 
just at midnight and crow from ten to thirty minutes, 
according to the ease or difficulty they expérience in 
getting the public waked up,) and your friend carries 
with him a sack. Arrived at the hen-roost, (your neigh- 
bour*s, not your own,) you light a match and hold it un- 
der first one and then another pullefs nose until they are 
willing to go into that bag without making any trouble 
about it You then retum home, either taking the bag 
with you or leaving it behind, according as circumstances 
shall dictate. N.B. I hâve seen the time when it was 
eligible and appropriate to leave the sack behind and 
walk ofFwith considérable velocity, without ever leaving 
any word where to send it. 

In the case of the other method mentioned for raising 
poultry, your friend takes along a covered vessel with a 
charcoal fire in it, and you carry a long slender plank» 
This is a frosty night, understand Arrived at the tree, 
or fence, or other hen-roost, (your own, if you are 
an idiot,) you warm the end of your plank in your 
friend's fire vessel and then raise it aloft and ease it up 
gently against a slumbering chicken's foot If the sub- 
ject of your attentions is a true bird, he will infallibly 
retum thanks with a sleepy cluck or two, and step out. 
and take up quarters on the plank, thus becoming so» 
conspicuously accessory before the fact to his owa 
muiàtx as to make it a grave question in oiu: minds, as it 
once wsLS in the mind oî "Blackstotie^ whether he is.not 



MORE DISTINCTION. 283 

réally aûd deliberately committing suicide in the second 
degrçe. [But you enter into a contemplation of thèse 
légal refinements subsequently — not then.] 

When you wish to raise a fine, large, donkey-voiced 
Shanghai rooster, you do it with a lasso, just as you 
would a bull. It is because he must be choked, and 
choked efFectually, too. It is the only good, certain 
way, for whenever he mentions a matter which he is cor- 
dially interested in, the chances are ninety-nine in a 
hundred that he secures somebody else's immédiate 
attention to it, too, whether it be day or night 

The Black Spanish is an exceedingly fine bird and a 
costly one. Thirty-five dollars is the usual figure, and 
fifty a not uncommon price for a spécimen. Even its 
eggs are worth firom a dollar to a dollar and a half apiece, 
and yet are so unwholesome that the city physician 
seldom or never orders them for the workhouse. Still I 
hâve once or twice procured as high as a c^ozen at a time 
for nothing, in the dark of the moon. The best way to 
raise the Black Spanish fowl, is to go late in the evening 
and raise coop and ail. The reason I recommend this 
method, is, that the birds being so valuable, the owners 
do not permit them to roost around promiscuously, but 
put them in a coop as strong as a fire-proof safe, and 
keep it in the kitchen at night. The method I speak of 
is not always a bright and satisfying success, and yet 
tiiere are so many little articles of vertu about a kitchen 
tiiat if you fail on the coop you can generally bring away 
something else. I brought away a nice steel trap, one 
night, worth ninety cents. 

But what is tiie use in my pouring eut iîk^ ^\vO^<^\si;.^- 



284 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

lect on this subject ? I hâve shown the Western New 
York Poultry Society that they hâve taken to their bosom 
a party who is not a Spring chicken by any raeans, but a 
man who knows ail about poultry, and is just as high up 
in the most efficient methods of raising it as the Prési- 
dent of the institution himself. I thank thèse gentlemen 
for the honorary membership they hâve conferred upon 
me, and shall stand at ail times ready and willing to 
testify my good feeling and my officiai' zeal by deeds as 
well as by this hastily penned advice and information. 
Whenever they are ready to go to raising poultry, let 
them call for me any evening after eleven o'clock and I 
shall be on hand promptly. 



THE LEGEND OF THE CAPITOLINE 

VENUS. 

CHAPTER I. 
[^Scene — An Artisfs Studio in Rome^ 

** Oh, George, I do love you ! *' 

" Bless your dear heart, Mary, I know that — why is 
your father so obdurate ?" 

" George, he means well, but art is foUy to him — he 
only understands groceries. He thinks you would starve • 
me." 

" Confound his wisdom — it savours of inspiration. Why 
am I not a money-making, bowelless grocer, instead of 
a divinely-gifted sculptor with nothing to eat ?" 

"Do not despond, Georgy, dear — ail his préjudices 
will fade away as soon as you shall hâve acquired fifty 
thousand dol ^" 

" Fifty thousand démons ! Child, I am in arrears for 
my board !" 



u 



CHAPTER II. 
\_Scene-'A Dufdling in Romcr\ 
My dear sir, it is useless to \:a&L, W^n^-^^ ^^>i^^^*i 



286 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

against you, but I can't let my daughter marry a hash of 
love, art, and starvation — I believe you hâve nothing 
else to offer." 

"Sir, I am poor, I grant you. But is famé nothing? 
The Hon. Bellamy Foodle, of Arkansas, says that my 
new statue of America is a clever pièce of sculpture, and 
he is satisfied that my name will one day be famous." 

"Bosh! What does that Arkansas ass know about 
it ? Fame's nothing — the market price of your marble 
scare-crow is the thing to look at. It took you six 
months to chisel it, and you can't sell it for a hundred 
dollars. No, sir ! Show me fifty thousand dollars and 
you can hâve my daughter — otherwise she marries young 
Simper. You hâve just six months to raise the money 
in. Good moming, sir.'' 

" Alas ! Woe is me !" 



CHAPTER III. 
\Scene—The Studio.'\ 

" Oh, John, friend of my boyhood, I am the unhappiest 
of men." 

" You're a simpleton !" 

" I hâve nothing left to love but my poor statue — ^and 
see, even she has no sympathy for me in her cold marble 
countenance — so beautiful and so heartless !" 

" YouVe a dummy !" 
Oh, John r 

Oh, fiidge ! Didrft you say v^^ ^^^ ^^"^^ xxvsstjfiùs. \a 
^ise the money in ?" 



if 



THE CAPITOLINE VENUS. 287 

" Don*t déride my agony, John. If I had six cen- 
turies what good would it do? How could it help a 
poor wretch without name, capital or friends ?" 

" Idiot ! Coward 1 Baby ! Six months to raise the 
money in — ^and five will do !" 

"Are you insane?" 

"Six months — an abundance. Leave it to me. 1*11 
raise it" 

" What do you mean, John ? How on earth can you 
raise such a monstrous sum for me V 

" Will you let that be my business, and not meddle ? 
Will you leave the thing in ray hands ? Will you swear 
to submit to whatever I do? Will you pledge me to 
find no fault with my actions ?" 

" I am dizzy — bewildered — but I swear." 

John took up a hammer and deliberately smashed the 
nose of America ! He made another pass and two of 
her fingers fell to the floor — another, and part of an ear 
came away — another, and a row of toes were mangled 
and dismembered — another, and the left leg, from the 
knee down, lay a fragmentary ruin ! 

John put on his hat and departed. 

George gazed speechless upon the battered and gro- 
tesque nightmare before him for the space of thirty 
seconds, and then wilted to the floor and went into 
convulsions. 

John retums presently with a carriage, got the broken- 
hearted artist and the broken-legged statue aboard, and 
drove ofi", whistling low and tranquilly. He \s.^ nJj^& 
artist at his lodgings, and drove o^ ^xA ^sacs^s^^^ixe.^ 
down the Via Quirinalis mlYv >Jcie sXaXxsie. 



288 MARK TWAlIsrs SKETCHES. 

CHAPTER IV. 

\Scene — The Studio^ 

■ 

" The six months will be up at two o'clock to-day ! 
Oh, agony ! My life is blighted. I would that I were 
dead. I had no supper yesterday. I hâve had no 
breakfast to-day. I dare not enter an eating-house. 
And hungry ? — don't mention it ! My bootmaker duns 
me to death — my tailor duns me — my landlord haunts 
me. I am misérable. I haven't seen John since that 
awfiil day. She smiles on me tenderly when we meet 
in the great thoroughfares, but her old flint of a father 
makes her look in the other direction in short order. 
Now who is knocking at that door ? Who is come to 
persécute me? That malignant villain the bootmaker, 
l'il warrant. Come in /" 

"Ah, happiness attend your highness — Heaven be 
propitious to your grâce ! I hâve brought my lord*s 
new boots — ^ah, say nothing about the pay, there is no 
hurry, none in the world. Shall be proud if my noble 
lord will continue to honour me with his custom — ah, 
adieu !'* 

" Brought the boots himself ! Don't want his pay ! 
Takes his leave with a bow and a scrape fit to honour 
majesty withal ! Desires a continuance of my custom ! 
Is the world coming to an end ? Of ail the <ome in /" 

** Pardon, signor, but I hâve brought your new suit of 

clothes for " 

''Come in ir' 
'^A thousand pardons îoï ticâs mtcusion, your worship I 



THE CAPITOLINE VENUS. 289 

But I hâve prepared the beautiful suite of rooms below 
for you — this wretched den is but ill suited to '^ 

''Corne in lir 

" I hâve called to say that your crédit at our bank, 
sometime since unfortunately intemipted, is entirely and 
most satisfactorily restored, and we shall be most happy 
if you will draw upon us for any '' 

" CoME IN ! ! ! ! " 

" My noble boy, she is yours ! She'U be hère in a 
moment ! Take her — marry her — love her — be happy ! 
— God bless you both ! Hip, hip, hur " 

"COME IN!!!!!" 

" Oh, George, my own darling, we are saved !" 

" Oh, Mary, my own darling, we are saved — but l'II 
swear 1 don't know why nor how !" 



CHAPTER V. 

• [Scène — A Roman Cqfè,] 

One of a group of American gentlemen reads and 
translates from the weekly édition of // Slangwhanger di 
Roma as foUows : 

** WoNDERFUL DiscovERY ! — Some six months âge Signor John 
Smitthe, an American gentleman now some years a résident of 
Rome, purchased for a trifle a small pièce of ground in the Cam- 
pagna, just beyond the tomb of the Scipio family, from the owner, a 
bankrupt relative of the Princess Borghese. Mr. Smitthe after- 
wards went to the Minister of the Public Records and had the pièce 
of ground transferred to a poor American artist named George 
Arnold, explaining that he did it as paymcxtl mA ^aJôsSasdèissû. Vî»x 

T. 



290 MARK TWAIWS SKETCHES. 

pecuniary damage accidentally done by him long sînce upon property 
belonging to Signor Arnold, and further observed that he would 
make additional satisfaction by improving the ground for Signor A., 
at his own charge and cost. Four weeks ago, while making some 
necessary excavations upon the property, Signor Smitthe unearthed 
the most remarkable ancient statue that has ever been added to the 
opulent art treasures of Rome. It was an exquisite figure of a woman, 
and though sadly stained by the soil and the mould of âges, no eye 
could look unmoved upon its ravishing beauty. The nose, the left 
leg firom the knee down, am ear, and also the toes of the right foot 
and two fingers of one of the hands, were gone, but otherwise the 
noble figure was in a remarkable stateof préservation. The govem- 
ment at once took military possession of the statue, and appointed a 
commission of art critics, antiquaries and cardinal princes of the 
church to assess its value and détermine the rémunération that must 
go to the owner of the ground in which it was found. The whole 
afTair was kept a profound secret until last night In the meantime 
the commission sat with closed doors, and deliberated. Last night 
they decided unanimously that the statue is a Venus, and the work 
of some unknown but sublimely gifted artist of the third century 
before Christ. They consider it the most faultless work of art the 
world has any knowledge of. 

'* At midnight they held a final conférence and decided that the 
Venus was worth the enormous sum of ten million francs! In 
accordance with Roman law and Roman usage, the govemment 
being half owner in ail works of art found in the Campagna, the 
State has naught to do but pay five million francs to Mr. Arnold 
and take permanent possession of the beautiful statue. This mom- 
ing the Venus will be removed to the Capitol, there to remain, and 
at noon the commission will wait upon Signor Arnold with His 
Holiness the Pope's order upon the Treasury for the princely sum 
of five million francs in gold." 

Chorus of Voices. — " Luck 1 It's no name for it !" 
Anot/ier Voice. — " Getitlemen, I propose that we imme- 
diately form an American ^omt-^X-oOt coïK^ass?} Ssst >iû& 
purchase of lands and eiLcavaùoti ol %\a.\\xfc^\«x^,-Hv^ 



THE CAPITOLINE VENUS. 291 

proper connections in Wall Street to buU and bear the 
stock." 
AIL—'' Agreed." 



CHAPTER VI. 

[^Scene — The Roman CapîtoL'\ 

" Dearest Mary, this is the most celebrated statue in 
the world. This is the renowed *Capitoline Venus' 
youVe heard so much about. Hère she is with her 
little blemishes * restored ' (that is, patched) by the most 
noted Roman artists — and the mère fact that they did 
the humble patching of so noble a création will make 
their names illustrious while the world stands. How 
strange it seems — this place ! The day before I last 
stood hère, ten happy years ago, I wasn*t a rich man — 
bless your soûl, I hadn't a cent. And yet I had a good 
deal to do with making Rome mistress of this grandest 
work of ancient art the world contains." 

" The worshipped, the illustrious Capitoline Venus — 
and what a sum she is valued at ! Ten milUons of 
francs !" 

" Yes — now she is." 

" And oh, Georgy, how divinely beautiful she is ! " 

"Ah, yes — but nothing to what she was before that 
blessed John Smith broke her leg and battered her nose. 
Ingénions Smith ! — gifted Smith — noble Smith ! Author 
of ail our bliss ! Hark ! Do you Vlwc^w ^«îtsax. "Cs^ax 
wheeze means ? Mary, that cub Yva^a ^o\. ^^ ^V^css?^^^^ 
couglh WiU you never Içam to t^V^ ç^x^ ol \Nx^ cÎK^èct^'^ - 



92 AfARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 



THE END. 

The Capitoline Venus is still in the Capitol at Rome, 
and is still the most charming and most illustrions work 
of ancient art the world can boast of. But if ever it 
shall be your fortune to stand before it and go into the 
customary ecstasies over it, don't permit this true and 
secret history of its origin to mar your bliss — and when 
you read about a gigantic Petrified Man being dug up 
near Syracuse, in the State of New York, or near any 
other place, keep your own counsel, — and if the Bamum 
that buried him there offersto sell to you at an enormous 
sum, don't you buy. Send him to the Pope ! 

Note. — Tlie above sketch was written at the time the famous 
swindleofthe "Petrified Giant" was the sensation of the dayin 
the United States. 



ENIGMA. 

NoT wishing to be outdone in literary enterprise by 
those magazines which hâve attractions especially dé- 
signée! for the pleasing of the fancy and the strengthehing 
of the intellect of youth, we hâve contrived and builded 
the foUowing enigma, at great expense of time and 
labour : — 

I am a word of 13 letters. 

My 7, 9, 4, 4, is a village in Europe. 

My 7, 14, 5, 7, is.a kind of dog. 

My II, 13, 13, 9, 2, 7, 2, 3, 6, I, 13, is a peculiar 
kind of stufF. 

My 2, 6, 1 2, 8, 9, 4, is the name of a great gênerai of 
ancient times (hâve spelt it to best of ability, though may 
hâve missed the bulFs eye on a letter or two, but not 
enough to signify). 

My 3, II, I, 9, 15, 2, 2, 6, 2, 9, 13, 2, 6, 15, 4, II, 2, 
3, S, I, 10, 4, 8, is the middle name of a Russian philo- 
sopher, up whose fiill cognomen famé is slowly but surely 
climbing. 

My 7, II, 4, 12, 3, I, I, 9 is an obscure but very 
proper kind of bug. 

My whole is — but perhaps a reasonable amount of 
diligence and ingenuity will reveal that. 

We take a just pride in offering the custoxssacc^ ^iij^s^ 
pen or cheap sewing machm^ iot eoxt^cX '3»<:^:»6v53^^ ^*^ "^"^ 
above. 



WIT-INSPIRATIONS OF THE 
" TWO-YEAR-OLDS." 

All infants appear to hâve an impertinent and disa- 
greeable fashion now-a-days of saying " smart " things on 
most occasions that offer, and especially on occasions 
when they ought not to be saying anything at all. Judg- 
ing by the average published spécimens of smart sayings, 
the rising génération of children are little better than 
idiots. » And the parents must surely be but little better than 
the children, for in most cases they are the publishers of 
the sunbursts of infantile imbecility which dazzle us from 
the pages of our periodicals. I may seem to speak with 
some heat, not to say a suspicion of personal spite ; and 
I do admit that it nettles me to hear about so many 
gifted infants in thèse days, and remember that I seldom 
said anything smart when I was a child. I tried it once 
or twice, but it was no.t popular. The family were not 
expecting brilliant remarks from me, and so they snubbed 
me sometimes, and spanked me the rest. But it makes 
my flesh creep and my blood run cold to think what 
might hâve happened to me if I had dared to utter some 
of the smart things of this generation^s " four-year-olds '' 
where my father could hear me. To hâve simply skinned 
me alive and considered his duly a.\. au ev^^^^ovild hâve 
seemed to him criminal leniency tovîatd oxv^ ^o ^\\c«\xi^ 



WIT'INSPIRA TIONS. 295 

He was a stem unsmîling man, and hated ail forms of 
precocity. If I had said some of the things I hâve re- 
ferred to, and said them in hîs hearing, he would hâve 
destroyed me. He would, indeed he would, provided 
the opportunity remained with him. But it would not, 
for I would hâve had judgment enough to take some 
strychnine first and say my smart thing afterward. The 
fair record of my life has been tarnished by just one pun. 
My father overheard that, and he hunted me over four or 
five townships seeking to take my life. If I had been 
fuU-grown of course he would hâve been right ; but, child 
as I was, I could not know how wicked a thing I had done. ^ 

I made one of those remarks ordinarily called " smart 
things " before that, but it was not a pun. Still, it came 
near causing a serions rupture between my father an4 
myself. My father and mother, my uncle Ephraim and 
his wife, and one or two others, were présent, and the 
conversation tumed on a name for me. I was lying 
there trying some India-rubber rings of varions pattems, 
and endeavouring to make a sélection, for I was tired of 
trying to eut my teeth on people's fingers, and wanted to 
get hold of something that would enable me to hurry thç 
thing through and get at something else. Did you eyer 
notice what a nuisance it was cutting your teeth on your 
nurse's finger, or how back-breaking and tiresome it was 
trying to eut them on your big toe ? And did you never 
get out of patience and wish your teeth were in Jéricho 
long before you got them half eut ? To me it seems as 
if thèse things happened yesterday. And they dld^ i<^ 
some children. But I digress. 1 ^2JS Vfvxx^ ^^x^ Nac^^sx^ 
the India-nibber rings. I remeictoeT \oO«Cvcv% ^x "^^ ^"^"^ 



296 MARK TWAIN' S S KETCH ES. 

and noticing that in an hour and twenty-five minutes I 
would be two weeks old, and thinking to myself how 
little I had donc to merit the blessings that were so un- 
sparingly lavished upon me. 

My father said, "Abraham is a good name. My 
grandfather was named Abraham/' 

My mother said, " Abraham is a good name. Very 
well. Let us hâve Abraham for one of his names." 

I said, " Abraham suits the subscriber." 

My father frowned, my mother looked pleased. 

My aunt said, " What a little darling it is ! " 

My father said, " Isaac îs a good name, and Jacob is a 
good name.*' 

My mother assented and said, " No names are better. 
Let us add Isaac and Jacob to his names." 

I said, " Ail right Isaac and Jacob are good enough 
for yours truly. Pass me that rattle, if you please. I 
can't chew India-rubber rings ail day." 

Not a soûl made a mémorandum of thèse sayings of 
mine for publication. I saw that, and did it myself, else 
they would hâve been utterly lost. So far from meeting 
with a gênerons encouragement like other children when 
developing intellectually, I was now furiously scowled 
upon by my father; my mother looked grieved and 
anxious, and even my aunt had about her an expression 
of seeming to think that maybe I had gone too far. I 
took a vicions bite out of an India-rubber ring, and 
covertly broke the rattle over the kitten's head, but said 
noihing. 
Presentîy my father said, " SamueV \s ^ n^x^ ^-«.c^îi^x^x 



WIT'INSPIRATIONS. 297 

I saw that trouble was coming. Nothing could pre- 
vent it I laid down my rattle; over the side of the 
cradle I dropped my uncle's silver watch, the clothes 
brush, the toy dog, my tin soldier, the nutmeg-grater, and 
other matters which I was accustomed to examine and 
meditate upon and make pleasant noises with, and bang ♦ 
and batter and break when I needed wholesome enter- 
tainment. Then I put on my little frock and my little 
bonnet, and took my pigmy shoes in one hand and my 
licorice in the other, and climbed out on the floor. I said 
to myself, Now, if the worst comes to the worst I am 
ready. 

Then I said aloud, in a firm voice, " Father, I cannot, 
cannot wear the name of Samuel." 

'' My son ! '' 

" Father, I mean it. I cannot." 

" Why ? " 

" Father, I hâve an invincible antipathy to that name." 

" My son, this is unreasonable. Many great and good 
men hâve been named Samuel." 

" Sir, I hâve yet to hear of the first instance." 

" What ! There was Samuel the prophet. Was not 
he great and good ? " 

" Not so very." 

" My son ! With his own voice the Lord called him." 

" Yes, sir, and had to call him a couple of times before 
he would come ! " 

And then I sallied forth, and that stem old man 
sallied forth after me. He overtook me at wcy>?^ \!sns. 
îdûowing day, and when lYve mteràç^w ^^^ css^x^^ca^^ 
acquired the name of Samuel, anà z. >2ta«.^«sû%^^^ ^'^^^ 



298 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

useful information; and by means of this compromise 
ray father's wrath was appeased, and a misunderstanding 
bridged over which might hâve become a permanent 
rupture if I had chosen to be unreasonable. But, just 
judging by this épisode, what would my father hâve done 
to me if I had ever uttered in his hearing one of the flat 
sickly thîngs thèse " two-year-olds " say in print now-a- 
days ? In my opinion there would hâve been a case of 
infanticide in our family. 



PERSONAL HABITS OF' THE SIAMESE 

TWINS. 

I DO not wish to write of the personal habits of thèse 
strange créatures solely, but also of certain curious 
détails of various kinds conceming them, which, be- 
longing only to their private life, hâve never crept into 
print. Knowing the Twins intimately, I feel that I am 
peculiarly well qualified for the task I hâve taken upon 
myself. 

The Siamese Twins are naturally tender and affectionate 
in disposition, and hâve clung to each other with singular 
fidelity throughout a long and eventful life. Even as 
children they were inséparable companions ; and it was 
noticed that they always seemed to prefer each other*s 
Society to that of any other persons. They nearly 
always played together; and, so accustomed was their 
mother to this peculiarity, that, whenever both of them 
chanced to be lost, she usually only hunted for one of 
them — satisfied that when she found that one she would 
find his brother somewhere in the immédiate neighbour- 
hood. And yet thèse créatures were ignorant and un- 
lettered — barbarians themselves and the offspring of 
barbarians, who knew not the W^X. ol ^^«^QfsssN^ "ss^^ 
science, What a withering lébuVe \^ \)kv^ \.o oxaXi^'ï^'^^^ 



.302 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

stretched, and longed for two o'clock to corne. And he 
took long walks with the lovers on moonlight evenings 
— sometimes traversing ten miles, notwithstanding he 
was usually sufFering from rheumatism. He is an in- 
veterate smoker; but he could not smoke on thèse 
occasions, because the young lady was painfuUy sensi- 
tive to the smell of tobacco. Eng cordially wanted 
them manied, and done with it ; but although Chang 
often asked the momentous question, the young lady 
could not gather sufficient courage to answer it while Eng 
was by. However, on one occasion, after having walked 
some sixteen miles, and sat up till nearly daylight, Eng 
dropped asleep, from sheer exhaustion, and then the 
question was asked and answered. The lovers were 
manied. AU acquainted with the circunistances ap- 
plauded the noble brother-in-law. His unwavering 
faithfulness was the thème of every tongue. He had 
staid by them ail through their long and arduous court- 
ship ; and, when at last, they were married, he lifted 
his hands above their heads, and said with impressive 
unction, " Bless ye, my children, I will never désert ye ! " 
and he kept his word. Magnanimity like this is ail too 
rare in this cold world. 

By-and-by Eng fell in love with his sister-in-law*s sister, 
and married her, and since that day they hâve ail lived 
together, night and day, in an exceeding sociability 
which is touching and beautiful to behold, and is a 
scathing rebuke to our boasted civilization. 

The sympathy existing between thèse two brothers is 
so close and so refined that ùie feé^Mi^^,^^\sN^\îN&^% 
the émotions of the one aie msXaiv\\^ e^Yetvew:.^\\s^ 



HABITS OF THE SIAMESE TWINS. 303 

the other. When one is sick, the other is sick ; when 
one feels pain, the other feels it j when one is angered, 
the other^s temper takes fire. We hâve already seen with 
what happy facility they both fell in love with the same 
girl. Now, Chang is bitterly opposed to ail forms of 
intempérance, on principle; but Eng is the reverse — 
for, while thèse men*s feelings and émotions are so 
closely wedded, their reasoning faculties are unfettered ; 
their thoughts are free. Chang belongs to the Good 
Templars, and is a hard-working and enthusiastic sup- 
porter of ail tempérance reforms. But, to his bitter 
distress, every now and then Eng gets drunk, and, of 
course, that makes Chang drunk too. This unfortunate 
thing has been a great sorrow to Chang, for it almost 
destroys his usefulness in his favourite field of effort. 
As sure as he is to head a great tempérance proces- 
sion Eng ranges up alongside of him, prompt to the 
minute, and drunk as a lord ; but yet no more dismally 
and hopelessly drunk than his brother, who has not 
tasted a drop. And so the two begin to hoot and yell, 
and throw mud and bricks at the Good Templars ; and 
of course they break up the procession. It would be 
manifestly wrong to punish Chang for what Eng does, 
and, therefore, the Good Templars accept the un- 
toward situation, and suffer in silence and sorrow. They 
hâve officially and deliberately examined into the matter, 
and find Chang blameless. They hâve taken the two 
brothers and filled Chang full of warm water and sugar 
and Eng full of whiskey, and in twenty-flve TxvvawSÂ.'s» ^ 
wsLS not possM^ to tell whidv Nva^ \!ftfc àxvas^^'sîu ^Ss^i^ 
were as drunk as loonsr— and oxiVioX^^av^^^ V^^^*^^' 



304 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

by the smell of their breath. Yet ail the while Changes 
moral principles were unsuUied, his conscience clear; 
and so ail just men were forced to confess that he was 
not morally, but only physically dnink. By every 
right and by every moral évidence the man was strictly 
sober ; and, therefore, it caused his friends ail the more 
anguish to see him shake hands with the pump, and try 
to wind his watch with his night-key. 

There is a moral in thèse solemn wamings — or, at 
least, a waming in thèse solemn morals ; one or the 
other. No matter, it is somehow. Let us heed it ; let 
us profit by it. 

l 'could say more of an instructive nature about thèse 
interesting beings, but let what I hâve written suffice. 

Having forgotten to mention it sooner, I will remark, 
in conclusion, that the âges of the Siamese Twins are 
respectively fifty-one and fifty-three years. 



A CURIOUS DREAM. 

CONTAINING A MORAL. 

NiGHT before last I had a singular dream. I seemed 
to be sitting on a doorstep (in no particular city, per- 
haps), ruminating, and the time of night appeared to be 
about twelve or one o*clock. The weather was balmy 
and delicious. There was no human sound in the air, 
not even a footstep. There was no sound of any kind to 
emphasize the dead stiUness, except the occasional hol- 
low barking of a dog in the distance and the fainter 
answer of a further dog. Presently up the street I heard 
a bony clack-clacking, and guessed it was the castanets of 
a serenading party. In a minute more a tall skeleton, 
hooded, and half-clad in a tattered and mouldy shroud, 
whose shreds were flapping about the ribby lattice-work 
of its person, swung by me with a stately stride, and dis- 
appeared in the grey gloom of the starlight. It had a 
broken and worm-eaten coffin on its shoulder and a 
bundle of something in its hand. I knew what the 
clack-clacking was then ; it was this party's joints working 
together, and his elbows knocking against his sides as he 
walked. I may say I was surprised. Before I could col- 
lect my thoughts and enter upon any spéculations as to 
what this apparition might portend, I heard another one 
coming— for I recognised his clacTc-clack. Hç had two- 



3o6 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

thirds of a coffin on his shoulder, and some foot- and 
head-boards under his arm. I mightily wanted to peer 
under his hood and speak to him, but when he turned 
and smiled upon me with his cavemous sockets and his 
projecting grin as he went by, I thought I would not 
detain him. He was hardly gone when I heard the 
clacking again, and another one issued from the shadowy 
half-light. This one was bending under a heavy grave- 
stone, and dragging a shabby coffin after him by a string. 
When he got to me he gave me a steady look for a 
moment or two, and then rounded to and backed up to 
me, saying : 

" Ease this down for a fellow, will you ? " 

I eased the gravestone down till it rested on the 
ground, and in doing so noticed that it bore the name of 
"John Baxter Copmanhurst," with "May, 1839," as the 
date of his death. Deceased sat wearily down by me, < 
and wiped his os frontis with his major maxillary — chiefly 
from former habit I judged, for I could not see that he 
brought away any perspiration. 

" It is too bad, too bad," said he, drawing the remnant 
of the shroud about him and leaning his jaw pensively 
on his hand. Then he put his left foot up on his knee and 
fell to scratching his ankle bone absently with a rusty nail 
which he got out of his coffin. 

" What is too bad, friend ? " 

" Oh, everything, everything. I almost wish I ne ver 
had died." 

" You surprise me. Why do you say this ? Has any- 
thing gone wrong ? What is the matter ? " 

"Matter! Look at this shroud — ^rags. Look at this 



A CURIOUS DREAM. 307 

gravestone, ail battered up. Look at that disgracefui old 
coffin. Ail a man's property going to ruin and destruc- 
tion before his eyes, and ask him if anything is wrong? 
Fire and brimstone ! " 

" Calm yourself, calm yourself," I said. " It is too 
bad — it is certainly too bad, but then I had not supposed 
that you would much mind such matters, situated as you 
are." 

" Well, my dear sir, I do mind them. My pride is 
hurt, and my comfort is impaired — destroyed, I might 
say. I will state my case — I will put it to you in such a 
way that you can comprehend it, if you will let me,'* said 
the poor skeleton, tilting the hood of his shroud back, 
as if he were clearing for action, and thus unconsciously 
giving himself a jaunty and festive air very much at 
variance with the grave character of his position in life — 
so to speak — and in prominent contrast with his distressful 
mood. 

" Proceed," said I. 

" I réside in the shameful old graveyard a block or two 
above you hère, in this street — there, now, I just expected 
that cartilage would let go ! — third rib firom the bottom, 
friend, hitch the end of it to my spine with a string, if 
you hâve got such a thing about you, though a bit of silver 
wire is a deal pleasanter, and more durable and becom- 
ing, if one keeps it polished — to think of shredding out 
and going to pièces in this way, just on account of the 
indifférence and neglect of one's posterity !" — and the 
poor ghost grated his teeth in a way that give me a 
wrench and a shiver — ^for tl^e eflfect is mightily increased 
by the absencç of muffling flesh and cuticle. " 1x^4^^^ 



3o8 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

in that old graveyard, and hâve for thèse thirty years ; 
and I tell you things are changed since I first laid this 
old tired frame there, and tumed over, and stretched out 
for a long sleep, with a delicious sensé upon me of being 
done with bother, and grief, and anxiety, and doubt, and 
fear, for ever and ever, and listening with comfortable 
and increasing satisfaction to the sexton's work, from the 
startling clatter of his first spadeful on mycoffin till it 
duUed away to the faint patting that shaped the roof of 
my new home — delicious ! My ! I wish you could try 
it to-night ! " and out of my rêverie deceased fetched me 
with a rattling slap with a bony hand. 

** Yes, sir, thirty years ago I laid me down there, and 
was happy. For it was out in the country, then — out in 
the breezy, flowery, grand old woods, and the lazy winds 
gossiped with the leaves, and the squirrels capered 
over us and around us, and the creeping things visited 
us, and the birds filled the tranquil soHtude with music. 
Ah, it was worth ten years of a man's life to be dead 
then ! Everything was pleasant. I was in a good neigh- 
bourhood, for ail the dead people that lived near me be- 
longed to the best families in the city. Our posterity 
appeared to think the world of us. They kept our graves 
in the very best condition ; the fences were always in 
faultless repair, head-boards were kept painted or white- 
washed, and were replaced with new ones as soon as 
they began to look rusty or decayed ; monuments were 
kept upright, railings intact and bright, the rosebushes 
and shrubbery trimmed, trained, and firee from blemish, 
the wâlks clean and smooth aivd gt2L\^\\^d. ^vsi iVssii dia-y 
js gone by, Our descendanls laaNe foi%o\.\ea >\'5.. "^^ 



A CURIOUS DREAM. 309 

grandson lives in a stately house built with money made 
by thèse old hands of mine, and I sleep in a neglected 
grave with invading vermin that gnaw my shroud to build 
them nests withal ! I and friends that lie with me founded 
and secured the prosperity of this fine city, and the 
stately bantling of our loves leaves us to rot in a dilapi- 
dated cemetery which neighbours curse and strangers scoflf 
at. See the différence between the old time and this — ^for 
instance : Our graves are ail caved in, now ; our head- 
boards hâve rotted away and tumbled down ; our railings 
réel this way and that, with one foot in the air, after a 
fashion of unseemly levity ; our monuments lean wearily, 
and our gravestones bow their heads discouraged ; there 
be no adomments any more — no roses, nor shrubs, nor 
gravelled walks, nor anything that is a comfort to the 
eye ; and even the paintless old board fence that did 
make a show of holding us sacred firom companionship 
with beasts and the défilement of heedless feet, has tot- 
tered till it overhangs the street, and only advertise^ the 
présence of our dismal resting-place and invites yet more 
dérision to it. And now we cannot hide our poverty and 
tatters in the fiiendly woods, for the city has stretched its 
withering arms abroad and taken us in, and ail that 
remains of the cheer of our old home is the cluster of 
lugubrious forest trees that stand, bored and weary of city 
life, with their feet in our coffins, looking into the hazy 
distance and wishing they were there. I tell you it is 
disgracefiil ! 

" You begin to comprehend — you begin to see how it 
is. While oiu* descendants ate \\Vycv% ^\»3K5è\»Rwâi^i '3^^:s5ss. 
money, nght around us in lYie ç;\t^,^^\ûN^\s>'^'è^^^^ 



3IO MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

to keep skull and bones together. Bless you, there isn't 
a grave in our cemetery that doesn*t leak — not one. 
Every time it rains in the night we hâve to climb out and 
roost in the trees — and sometimes we are wakened sud- 
denly by the chilly water trickling down the back of our 
necks. Then I tell you there is a gênerai heaving up of 
old graves and kicking over of old monuments, and 
scamperingofold skeletons for the trees ! Bless me, if you 
had gone along there some such nights after twelve you 
might hâve seen as many as fifteen of us roosting on one 
limb, with our joints rattling drearily and the wind 
wheezing through our ribs ! Many a time we hâve 
perched there for three or four dreary hours, and then 
corne down, stiff and chilled through and drowsy, and 
borrowed each other's skulls to baie out our graves with 
— if you will glance up in my mouth, now as I tilt my 
head back, you can see that my head-piece is half full of 
old dry sédiment — ^how top-heavy and stupid it makes 
me sometimes ! Yes, sir, many a time if you had hap- 
pened to come along just before the dawn you*d hâve 
caught us baling out the graves and hanging our shrouds 
on the fence to dry. Why, I had an élégant shroud 
stolen from there one moming — think a party by the 
name of Smith took it, that résides in a plebeian graveyard 
over yonder — I think so because the first time I ever saw 
him he hadn*t anything on but a check-shirt, and the last 
time I saw him, which was at a social gathering in the 
new cemetery, he was the best dressed corpse in the Com- 
pany — and it is a significant fact that he left when he saw 
me ; anà presently an old wornaii ftoicv Vv«t^ ToÂs^ed Iver 
cofRn — sAe generally took it mttv \\ei NN\veu ^^ ^^^^. ^^-^ 



A eu RIO US DREAM. zn 

where, because she was liable to take cold and bring on 
the spasmodic rheumatism that originally killed her if she 
exposed herself to the night air much. She was named 
Hotchkiss — ^Anna Matilda Hqtchkiss — ^you might know 
her ? She has two upper front teeth, is tall, but a good 
deal inclined to stoop, one rib on the left side gone, has 
one shred of rusty hair hanging from the left side of her 
head, and one little tuft just above and a little forward of 
her right ear, has her under jaw wired on one side where 
it had worked loose, small bone of left forearm gone — 
lost in a fight — ^lias a kind of swagger in her gait and a 
* gallus ' way of going with her arms akimbo and her 
nostrils in the air — has been pretty free and easy, and is 
ail damaged and battered up till she looks like a 
queensware crate in ruins — maybe you hâve met 
her?" 

" Gk)d forbid ! " I involuntarily ejaculated, for some- 
how I was not looking for that form of question, and it 
caught me a little ofF my guard. But I hastened to 
make amends for my rudeness, and say, " I simply meant 
I had not had the honour — ^for I would not deliberately 
speak discovurteously of a friend of yours. You were 
sa)âng that you were robbed — and it was a shame, too 
— but it appears by what is left of the shroud you 
hâve on that it was a costly one in its day. How 
did " 

A most ghastly expression began to develop among the 
decayed features and shrivelled integuments of my guest's 
face, and I was beginning to grow uneasy and distressed, 
when he told me he was 01A7 \îçytes\% >5:s^ "sv. ^^'5:^^ '^ 
smile, with a wink in it, to sug^esX. XîwaX ?;îoq5^^. "^^ \x^^^^ 



312 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCH'ES. 

acquired his présent garment a ghost in a neighbouring 
cemetery missed one. This reassured me, but I begged 
him to confine himself to speech thenceforth, because 
his facial expression was uncertain. Even with the most 
elaborate care it was liable to miss fire. Smiling should 
especially be avoided. What he might honestly consider 
a shining success was likely to strike me in a very diffé- 
rent light I said I liked to see a skeleton cheerful, even 
decorously pla)rful, but I did not think smiling was a 
skeleton's best hold. 

"Yes, friend," said the poor skeleton, "the facts are 
just as I hâve given them to you. Two of thèse old 
graveyards — the one that I resided in and one further 
along — hâve been dehberately neglected by our descen- 
dants of to-day until there is no occupying them any 
longer. Aside from the osteological discomfort of it — 
and that is no light matter this rainy weather — the pré- 
sent State of things is ruinous to property. We hâve got 
to move or be content to see our effects wasted away and 
utterly destroyed. Now, you will hardly believe it, but 
it is true, nevertheless, that there isn*t a single coffin in 
good repair among ail my acquaintance — now that is an 
absolute fact. I do not refer to low people who corne in a 
pine box mounted on an express waggon, but I am talking 
about your high-toned, silver mounted burial-case, monu- 
mental sort, that travel under black plumes at the head of 
a procession and hâve choice of cemetery lots — I mean 
folks like the Jarvises, and the Bledsoes and Burlings, and 
such. They are ail about ruined. The most substantial 
people in our set, they weie. Kxvà. wow \QoVw'aii\vex!DL — 
utterly used up and poveity-slncV^ïi. Oxi^ol^^^Sva^^^ 



A CURIOUS DREAM. 313 

actually traded his monument to a late bar-keeper for 
some fresh shavings to put under his head. I tell you it 
speaks volumes, for there is nothing a corpse takes so 
much pride in as his monument He loves to read the 
inscription. He comes after awhile to believe what it 
says himself, and then you may see him sitting on the 
fence night after night enjo)âng it. Epitaphs are cheap, 
and they do a poor chap a world of good after he is 
dead, especially if he had hard luck while he was alive. 
I wish they were used more. Now, I don't complain, 
but confidentially I do think it was a little shabby in my 
descendants to give me nothing but this old slab of a 
gravestone — and ail the more that there isn't a compli- 
ment on it. It used to hâve 

*GONE TO HIS JUST REWARD ' 

on it, and I was proud when I first saw it, but by-and-by 
I noticed that whenever an old friend of mine came 
along he would hook his chin on the railing and pull a 
long face and read along down till he came to that, and 
then he would chuckle to himself and walk off, looking 
satisfied and comfortable. So I scratched it ofF to get 
rid of those fools. But a dead man always takes a deal 
of pride in his monument. Yonder goes half-a-dozen of 
the Jarvises, now, with the family monument along. 
And Smithers and some hired spectres went by with his 
a while ago. Hello, Higgins, good-bye, old friend ! That's 
Meredith Higgins — died in '44 — ^belongs to our set in the 
cemetery — fine old family — great-grandmother was an 
Injun — I am on the most faitûldax X^tcbs. ^^î>âcs.\sssssr-^^^ 
didn 't heai me was the reason Yv^ âÀài^ X ^x^sw^^ ^«=^^- ^^^ 



314 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

I am sorry, too, because I would hâve liked to introduce 
you. You would admire him. He is the most disjointed, 
sway-backed, and generally distorted old skeleton you 
ever saw, but he is full of fun. When he laughs it sounds 
like rasping two stones together, and he always starts ît 
ofF with a cheery screech like raking a nail across a 
window-pane. Hey, Jones ! That is old Columbus Jones 
— shroud cost four hundred dollars — entire trousseau, in- 
cluding monument, twenty-seven hundred. This was in 
the Spring of *26. It was enormous style for those days. 
Dead people came ail the way from the Alleghanies to 
see his things — ^the party that occupied the grave next to 
mine remembers it well. Now do you see that individual 
going along with a pièce of a head-board under his arm, 
one leg-bone below his knee gone, and not a thing in the 
world on? That is Barstow Dalhouse, and next to 
Columbus Jones he was the most sumptuously outfitted 
person that ever entered our cemetery. We are ail leav- 
ing. We cannot tolerate the treatment we are receiving 
at the hands of oiu- descendants. They open new ceme- 
teries, but they leave us to our ignominy. They mend 
the streets, but they never mend anything that is about 
us or belongs to us. Look at that coffin of mine — yet I 
tell you in its day it was a pièce of fumiture that would 
hâve attracted attention in any drawing-room in this 
city. You may hâve it if you want it — I can't afford to 
repair it. Put a new bottom in her, and part of a new 
top, and a bit of fresh lining alông the left side, and 
you'U find her about as comfortable as any réceptacle of 
her species you ever tried. "^o t\i2Li^'&— t^q, ^ovi'i meu- 
tion it—you hâve been cw\\ to m^, ^xA\^w^^ ^^ 



A CURIOUS DREAM. 315 

you ail the property I hâve got before I would seem 
ungratefuL Now this windîng-sheet îs a kind of a sweet 

thing in its way, if you would like to . No ? Well, 

just as you say, but I wished to be fair and libéral— 
there's nothing mean about me. Good-by, friend, I must 
be going. I may hâve a good way to go to-night — don't 
know. I only know one thing for certain, and that is, 
that I am on the emigrant trail, now, and l'il never sleep 
in that crazy old cemetery again. I will travel till I find 
respectable quarters,* if I hâve to hoof it to New Jersey. 
AU the boys are going. It was decided in public con- 
clave, last night, to emigrate, and by the time the sun 
rises there won't be a bone left in our old habitations. 
Such cemeteries may suit my surviving friends, but they 
do not suit the remains that hâve the honour to make 
thèse remarks. My opinion is the gênerai opinion. If 
you doubt it, go and see how the departing ghosts upset 
things before they started. They were almost riotous in 
their démonstrations of distaste. Hello, hère are some 
of the Bledsoes, and if you will give me a lift with this 
tombstone I guess I will join company and jog along 
with them — mighty respectable old family, the Bledsoes, 
and used to always come out in six-horse hearses, and ail 
that sort of thing fifty years ago when I walked thèse 
streets in daylight. Good-by, friend.** 

And with his gravestone on his shoulder he joined the 
grisly procession, dragging his damaged coffin after him, 
for notwithstanding he pressed it upon me so earnestly, 
I utterly refused his hospitality. I suppose that for as 
much as two hours thèse sad ouX.casXs» ^^x^ Osa5^iKeç^s^'^^ 
laden wiûi their dismal eîfeels, anÔL ia^\ xîcsax \v»fc^ '^•2^. 



3i6 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

pitying them. One or two of the youngest and least 
dilapidated among them inquired about midnight trains 
on the railways, but the rest seemed unacquainted with 
that mode of travel, and merely asked about common 
public roads to varions towns and cities, some of which 
are not on the map now, and vanished from it and from 
the earth. as much as thirty years ago, and some few of 
them never had existed an)rwhere but on maps, and 
private ones in real estate agencies at that time. And 
they asked about the condition of the cemeteries in thèse 
towns and cities, and about the réputation the citizens 
bore as to révérence for the dead. 

This whole matter interested me deeply, and likewise 
compelled my sympathy for thèse homeless ones. And 
it ail seeming real, and I not knowing it was a dream, I 
mentioned to one shrouded wanderer an idea that had 
entered my head to publish an account of this curions 
and very sorrowful exodus, but said also that I could not 
describe it truthfiilly, and just as it occurred, without 
seeming to trifle with a grave subject and exhibit an 
irrévérence for the dead that would shock and distress 
their surviving friends. But this bland and stately rem- 
nant of a former citizen leaned him far over my gâte and 
whispered in my ear, and said : — 

" Do not let that disturb you. The community that 
can stand such graveyards as those we are emigrating 
from can stand anything a body can say about the neg- 
lected and forsaken dead that lie in them." 

At that very moment a cock crowed, and the weird 
procession vanished and\eftnot.a^T^ô.ai^.\iQ^^\i^\ûsvd, 
I awoke, and found mysélf lym^ vnJik m>j V^^^ cwx ^S. ^^ 



A CURIOUS DREAM. 317 

bed and " sagging " downwards considerably — a position 
favourable to dreaming dreams with morals in them, 
maybe, but not poetry. 

Note. — The reader is assured that if the cemeteries in his town 
are kept in good order, this Dream is not levelled at his town at ail, 
but is levelled particularly and venomously at the next town. 



AN INQUIRY ABOUT INSURANCES. 

• 

CoMiNG down from Sacramento the other night, I 
found on a centre table in the saloon of the steamboat, a 
pamphlet advertisement of an Accident Insurance Com- 
pany. It interested me a good deal, with its General 
Accidents, and its Hazardous Tables, and Extra-Hazard- 
ous fumiture of the same description, and I would like 
to know something more about it. It is a new thing to 
me. I want to invest if I come to like it I want to 
ask merely a few questions of the man who carries on 
this Accident shop. 

He publishes this list as accidents he is willing to insure 
people against : 

''General accidents include the Travelling Risk, and also ail 
forms of Dislocations, Broken Bones, Ruptures, Sprains, Concus- 
sions, Crushings, Bruisings, Cuts, Stabs, Gunshot Wounds, Poisoned 
Wounds, Bums and Scalds, Freezing, Dog-Bites, Unprovoked 
Assaults byBurglars, Robbers, or Murderers, the action ofLightning 
or Sunstroke, the effects of Explosions, Chemicals, Floods, and 
Earthquakes, Suffocation by Drowning or Choking — ^where such 
accidentai injury totally disables the person insured from following 
his usual avocation, or causes death within three months from the 
time of the time of the happening of the injury." 

I want to address this party as follows : — 



AN INQUIRY ABOUT INSURANCES. 319 

Now, Smith — I suppose likely your name is Smith — I 
think we can come to an understanding about your little 
game without any hard feelings. For instance : 

Do you allow the same money on a dog-bite that you 
do on an earthquake? Do you take spécial risks for 
spécifie accidents ? — that is to say, could I, by getting a 
policy for dog-bites alone, get it cheaper than if I took a 
chance in your whole lottery ? And if so, and supposing 
I got insured against earthquakes, would you charge any 
more for San Francisco earthquakes than for those that 
prevail in places that are better anchored down ? And 
if I had a policy on earthquakes alone, I couldn't coUect 
on dog-bites, maybe, could I ? 

If a man had such a policy, and an earthquake shook 
him up and loosened his joints a good deal, but not 
enough to incapacitate him from engaging in pursuits 
which did not require him to be tight, wouldn't you pay 
him some of his pension ? Why do you discriminate 
between Provoked and Unprovoked Assaults by Burglars ? 
If a burglar entered my house at dead of night, and I, in 
the excitement natural to such an occasion, should forget 
myself and say something that provoked him, and he 
should cripple me, wouldn't I get anything? but if I pro- 
voked him by pure accident, I would hâve you there, I 
judge ; because you would hâve to pay for the Accident 
part of it anyhow, seeing that insuring against accidents 
is just your specialty, you know. 

But now as to those " EfFects of Lightning." Suppose 
the lightning were to strike out at one of your men and 
miss him, and " fetch " another party — could that other 
party come on you for damages ? Or could the relatives 



320 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

of the party thus suddenly hurled out of the bright world 
in the bloom of his youth corne on you in case he was 
pushed for time ? as of course he would be, you know, 
under such circumstances. 

You say you hâve " issued over sixty thousand policies, 
forty-five of which hâve proved fatal and been paid for." 
Now, that looks just a little curions to me, in a measure. 
You appear to hâve it pretty much ail your own 
way. It is ail very well for the lucky forty-five that hâve 
died " and been paid for," but how about the other fifty- 
nine thousand nine hundred and fifty-five? You hâve 
got their money, haven't you? But somehow the light- 
ning don't seem to strike them, and they don't get any 
chance at you. Won't their familles get fatigued waiting 
for their dividends? Don't your customers drop off 
rather deliberately ? 

You will ruin yourself publishing such damaging state- 
ments as that. I tell you as a friend. If you had said 
that the fifty-nine thousand nine hundred and fifty-five 
died, and that forty-five lived, you would hâve issued 
about four tons of policies the next week. But people 
are not going to get insured, when you take so much 
pains to prove that there is such precious little use in ît. 
Would it be impertinent if I should ask if you are insured 
yourself? 



ADVICE FOR GOOD LITTLE GIRLS. 

GooD little girls ought not to make mouths at their 
teachers for every trifling ofFence. This kind of retaliation 
should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravating 
circumstances. 

If you hâve nothing but a rag doU stufifed with saw- 
dust, while one of your more fortunate little playmates 
has a costly china one, you should treat her with a show 
of kindness nevertheless. And you ought not to attempt 
to make a forcible swap with her unless your conscience 
would justify you in it, and you know you are able to 
do it 

You ought never to take your little brother's " chawing- 
gum " away from him by main force : it is better to be- 
guile with the promise of the first two dollars and a half 
you find floating down the river on a grindstone. In the 
artless simplicity natural to his time of life, he will regard 
it as a perfectly fair transaction. In ail âges of the world 
this eminently plausible fiction has lured the obtuse infant 
to financial ruin and disaster. 

If at any time you find it necessary to correct your 
brother, do not correct him with mud — never on any 
account throw mud at him, becaMà^ Sx^w^ ^^àWi^^^^*^^'?*. 
It is better to scald him a UlÙ^ -, iox xJciaT^^^x^ ^\.\2àcsyN2^^ 



322 MARK TIVAIN'S SKETCHES. 

désirable results — ^you secure his immédiate attention to 
the lesson you are inculcating, and at the same time, your 
hot water will hâve a tendency to remove împurities firom 
his person — ^and possibly the skin also, in spots. 

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to 
reply that you won't It is better and more becoming to 
intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then after- 
wards act quietly in the matter according to the dictâtes 
of your better judgment. 

You should ever bear in mind that it is to your kind 
parents that you are indebted for your food and your 
nice bed and your beautiful clothes, and for the privilège 
of staying home from school when you let on that you 
are sick. Therefore you ought to respect theîr little 
préjudices and humour their little whims, and put up 
with theîr little foibles, until they get to crowding you too 
much. 

Good little girls should always show marked déférence 
for the aged. You ought never to " sass " old peoph 
unless they " sass " you first. 



CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS. 

I visiTED St Louis lately, and on my way west, after 
changing cars at Terre Haute, Indiana, a mild, benevo- 
lent-looking gentleman of about forty-five, or may be 
fifty, came in at one of the way-stations and sat down 
beside me. We talked together pleasantly on varions 
subjects for an hour, perhaps, and I found him exceed- 
ingly intelligent and entertaining. When he leamed that 
I was from Washington, he immediately began to ask 
questions about varions public men, and about Congres- 
sional aflfairs ; and I saw very shortly that I was convers- 
ing with a man who was perfectly familiar with the ins 
and outs of political life at the Capital, even to the ways 
and manners, and customs of procédure of Senators and 
Représentatives in the Chambers of the National Légis- 
lature. Presently two men halted near us for a single . 
moment, and one said to the other : 

" Harris, if you'll do that for me, l'il never forget you, 
my boy." 

My new comrade's eyes lîghted pleasantly. The words 
had touched upon a happy memory, I thought. Then 
his face settled into thoughtfulness — almost into gloom. 
He tumed to me and said, " Let me tell you a story ; 
let me give you a secret chapter of my life — a chapter 



324 MARK TWAIN" S S KETCH ES, 

that has never been referred to by me since its events 
transpired Listen patiently, and promise that you will 
not interrupt me." 

I said I would not, and he related the following strange 
adventure, speaking sometimes with animation, some- 
times with melancholy, but always with feeling and 
eamestness. 

The Stranger's Narrative. . 

On the içth December, 1853, 1 started from St. Louis 
in the evening train bound for Chicago. There were 
only twenty-four passengers, ail told. There were no 
ladies and no children. We were in excellent spirits, 
and pleasant acquaintanceships were soon formed. The 
journey bade fair to be a happy one ; and no individual 
in the party, I think, had even the vaguest presentiment 
of the horrors we were soon to undergo. 

At 1 1 p. M. it began to snow hard. Shortly after leav- 
ing the small village of Welden, we entered upon that 
tremendous prairie solitude that stretches its leagues on 
leagues of houseless dreariness far away towards the 
Jubilee Settlements. The winds, unobstructed by trees 
or hills, or even vagrant rocks, whistled fiercely across the 
level désert, driving the falling snow before it like spray 
from the crested waves of a stormy sea. The snow was 
deepening fast ; and we knew, by the diminished speed 
of the train, that the engine was ploughing through it 
with steadily increasing difïiculty. Indeed, it almost 
came to a dead hait sometimes, in the midst of great 
drifts that piled themselves Uke colossal graves across 



CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS. 325 

« 

the trackk Conversation began to flag. Cheerfulness 
gave place to grave concem. The possibility of being 
imprisoned in the snow, on the bleak prairie, fifty miles 
from any house, presented itself to every mind, and ex- 
tended its depressing influence over every spirit 

At two o'clock in the moming I was aroused out of 
an uneasy slumber by the ceasing of ail motion about 
me. The appalling truth flashed upon me instantly— 
we were captives in a snow-drift ! " AU hands to the 
rescue 1 " Every man sprang to obey. Out into the 
wild night, the pitchy darkness, the billowy snow, the 
driving storm, every soûl leaped, with the consciousness 
that a moment lost now might bring destruction to us 
ail. Shovels, hands, boards — anything, ever3rthing that 
could displace snow, was brought into instant réquisi- 
tion. It was a weird picture, that small company of 
frantic men fighting the banking snows, half in the 
blackest shadow and half in the angry light of the loco- 
motive's reflector. 

One short hour sufficed to prove the utter uselessness 
of our efforts. The storm barricaded the track with a 
dozen drifts while we dug one away. And worse than 
this, it was discovered that the last grand charge the 
engine had made upon the enemy had broken the fore- 
and-aft shaft of the driving-wheel ! With a free track 
before us we should still hâve been helpless. We en- 
tered the car wearied with labour, and very sorrowful. 
We gathered about the stoves, and gravely canvassed our 
situation. We had no provisions whatever — in this lay 
our chief distress. We could not freeze, for there was a 
good supply of wood in thfe tender. This was our oxA\ 



326 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

comfort. The discussion ended at last in accepting thé 
disheartening décision of the conductor, viz., that it 
would be death for any man to attempt to travel fifty 
miles on foot through snow like that. We could not send 
for help ; and even if we could, it could not come. We 
must submit, and await, as patiently as we might, succour 
or starvation ! I think the stoutest heart there felt a 
momentary chill when those words were uttered. 

Within the hour conversation subsided to a low mur- 
mur hère and there about the car, caught fîtfuUy between 
the rising and falling of the blast ; the lamps grew dim ; 
and the majority of the castaways settled themselves 
among the flickering shadows to think — to forget the 
présent, if they could — to sleep, if they might. 

The eternal night — it surely seemed etemal to us — • 
wore its lagging hours away at last, and the cold grey 
dawn broke in the east. As the light grew stronger the 
passengers began to stir and give signs of life, one after 
another, and each in tum pushed his slouched hat up 
from his forehead, stretched his stiffened limbs, and 
glanced out at the Windows upon the cheerless prospect 
It was cheerless indeed ! — not a living thing visible any- 
where, not â human habitation ; nothing but a vast white 
désert ; uplifted sheets of snow drifting hither and thither 
before the wind — a world of eddying flakes shutting out 
the firmament above. 

AU day we moped about the cars, saying little, 
thinking much. Another lingering dreary night — ^and 
hunger. 

Another dawning— another day of silence, sadness, 
wastïng hunger, hopeless watching for succour that could 



CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS. 337 

not come. A night of restless slumber, filled with 
dreams of feasting — ^wakings distressed with the gnawings 
of hunger. 

The fourth day came and went — and the fifth ! Five 
days of dreadfiil imprisonment ! A savage hunger looked 
out at every eye. There was in it a sign of awfiil import 
— the foreshadowing of a something that was vaguely 
shaping itself in every heart — z, something which no 
tongue dared yet to frame into words. 

The sixth day passed — the seventh dawned upon as 
gaunt and haggard and hopeless a company of men as 
ever stood in the shadow of death. It must out now ! 
That thing which had been growing up in every heart 
was ready to leap from every lip at last ! Nature had 
been taxed to the utmost — she must yield. Richard 
H. Gaston, of Minnesota, tall, cadaverous, and pale, 
rose up. AU knew what was coming. Ail prepared — 
every émotion, every semblance of excitement was 
smothered — only a calm, thoughtful seriousness appeared 
in the eyes that were lately so wild. 

" Gentlemen, — It cannot be delayed longer ! The 
time is at hand ! We must détermine which of us shall 
die to fumish food for the rest ! " 

Mr. John J. Williams, of Illinois, rose and said : 
"Gentlemen, — I nominate the Rev. James Sawyer, of 
Tennessee." 

Mr. Wm. R. Adams, of Indiana, said : " I nominate 
Mr. Daniel Slote, of New York." 

Mr. Charles J. Langdon : ** I nominate Mr. Samuel 
A. Bowen, of St Louis." 

Mr. Slote: "Gentlemen, — I désire to décline in 



328 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

favour of Mr. John A. Van Nastrand, jun., of New 
Jersey." 

Mr. Gaston : " If there be no objection, the gentie- 
man's désire will be acceded to." 

Mr. Van Nastrand objecting, the résignation of Mr. 
Slote was rejected. The résignations of Messrs. Sawyer 
and Bowen were also offered, and refused upon the 
same grounds. 

Mr. A. L. Bascom, of Ohio : " I ihove that the nomi- 
nations now close, and that the House proceed to an 
élection by ballot" 

Mr. Sawyer : ** Gentlemen, — I protest eamestly against 
thèse proceedings. They are, in every way, irregular 
and unbecoming. I must beg to move that they be 
dropped at once, and that we elect a chairman of 
the meeting and proper officers to assist him, and 
then we can go on with the business before us under- 
standingly." 

Mr. Belknap, of lowa: "Gentlemen, — I object 
This is no time to stand upon forms and ceremonious 
observances. For more than seven days we hâve been 
without food. Every moment we lose in idle discussion 
incrèases our distress. I am satisfied with the nomina- 
tions that hâve been made — every gentleman présent is, 
I believe — and I, for one, do not see why we should not 
proceed at once to elect one or more of them. I wish 
to ofFer a resolution " 

Mr. Gaston : " It would be objected to, and hâve to 
lie over one day under the rules, thus bringing about the 
very delay you wish to avoid. The gentleman from New 
Jersey " 



CANNIBAUSM IN THE CARS, 329 

Mr. Van Nastrand : " Gentlemen, — I am a stranger 
among you ; I hâve not sought the distinction that has 
been conferred upon me, and I feel a delicacy ^" 

Mr. Morgan, of Alabama (interrapting) : " I mctve the 
previous question." 

The motion was carried, and fiirther debate shut ofF, 
of course. The motion to elect officers was passed, and 
under it Mr. Gaston was chosen chairman, Mr. Blake 
secretary, Messrs. Holcomb, Dyer, and Baldwin, a com- 
mittee on nominations, and ,Mr. R. M. Howland, pur- 
veyor, to assist the committee in making sélections. 

A recess of half an hour was then taken, and some 
little caucusing foUowed. At the sound of the gavel the 
meeting reassembled, and the committee reported in 
favour of Messrs. George Ferguson, of Kentucky, Lucien 
Hermann, of Louisiana, and W. Messick, of Colorado, as 
candidates. The report was accepted. 

Mr. RoGERS, of Missouri : "Mr. Président, — The report 
being properly before the House now, I move to amend 
• it by substituting for the name of Mr. Hermann that of 
Mr. Lucius Harris, of St. Louis, wlu> is well and honour- 
ably known to us ail. I do not wish to be understood 
as casting the least reflection upon the high character 
and standing of the gentleman from Louisiana — far from 
it. I respect and esteem him as much as any gentleman 
hère présent possibly can ; but none of us can be blind 
to the fact that he has lost more flesh during the week 
that we hâve lain hère than any among you — ^none of us 
can be blind to the fact that the committee has been 
derelict in its duty, either through négligence or a graver 
fault, in thus offering for our suffirages a gentleman who, 



330 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

however pure hîs own motives may be, bas really less 
nutriment in him ^* 

The Chair : " The gentleman from Missouri will take 
bis seat Tbe Chair cannot allow the integrity of tbe 
Committee to be questioned save by the regular course, 
under tbe rules. What action will the House take upon 
tbe gentleman's motion ? " 

Mr. Halliday, of Virginia: "I move to furtber 
amend the report by substituting Mr. Harvey Davis, of 
Oregon, for Mr. Messick. . It may be urged by gentle- 
men that the hardships and privations of a frontier life 
bave rendered Mr. Davis tough ; but, gentlemen, is tbis 
a time to cavil at toughness ? is tbis a time to be fasti- 
dious conceming trifles ? isthisa time to dispute about 
matters of paltry significance ? No, gentlemen, bulk is 
what we désire — substance, weight, bulk— thèse are tbe 
suprême requisites now — not talent, not genius, not 
éducation. I insist upon my motion." 

Mr. Morgan (excitedly) : " Mr. Chairman, — I do 
most strenuously object to tbis amendment. The gentle- 
man from Oregon is old, and furthermore is bulky only 
in bone — not in flesh. I ask the gentleman from Virginia 
if it is soup we want instead of solid sustenance ? if be 
would delude us with shadows ? if be would mock our 
sufFering with an Oregonian spectre ? I ask him if be 
can look upon the anxious faces around him, if he can 
gaze into our sad eyes, if he can listen to the beating 
of our expectant hearts, and still thrust tbis famine- 
stricken firaud upon us ? I ask him if he can tbink of 
our desolsite state, of owt pasX ^ortcw^ of our dark 
future, and still unpityingVy îovsX. >r^oii>as^\^^wt^^^^>& 



CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS. 331 

rùîh, this tottering swindle, this gnarled and blighted and 
sapless vagabond from Oregon's inhospitable shores? 
Never!" (Applause.) 

The amendment was put to vote, after a fieiy debate, 
and lost Mr. Harris was substituted on the first amend- 
ment The balloting then began. Five ballots were 
held without a choice. On the sixth, Mr. Harris was 
elected, ail voting for him but himself. It was then 
moved that his élection should be ratified by acclama- 
tion, which was lost, in conséquence of his again voting 
against himself. 

Mr. Radway moved that the House now take up the 
remaining candidates, and go into an élection for break- 
fast This was carried. 

On the first ballot there was a tie, half the members 
favouring one candidate on account of his youth, and 
half favouring the other on account of his superior size. 
The Président gave the casting vote for the latter, Mr. 
Messick. This décision created considérable dissatis- 
fàction among the fiiends of Mr. Ferguson, the defeated 
Candidate, and there was some talk of demanding a new 
ballot ; but in the midst of it, a motion to adjoum was 
carried, and the meeting broke up at once. 

The préparations for supper diverted the attention of 
the Ferguson faction from the discussion of their griev- 
ance for a long time, and then, when they would hâve 
taken it up again, the happy announcement that Mr. 
Harris was ready, drove ail thought of it to the winds. 

We improvised tables by propping up the backs of 
car-seats, and sat down vrith Vveail?» ivU^ cii ^-aîo^^èsR. hs^ 
the ûnest supper that had bless^ài ovct nKsv^^ Vs^ 'ye^^^ 



332 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 

torturing days. How changed we were from what we 
had been a few short hours before ! Hopeless, sad-eyed 
miseiy, hunger, feverish anxiety, desperation, then — 
thankfulness, serenity, joy too deep for utterance now. 
That I know was the cheeriest hour of my eventful life. 
The wind howled, and blew the snow wildly about our 
prison-house, but they were powerless to distress us any 
more. I liked Harris. He might hâve been better 
donc, perhaps, but I am free to say that no man ever 
agreed with me better than Harris, or aflforded me so 
large a degree of sitisfaction. Messick was very well, 
though rather high-flavoured, but for genuine nutritious- 
ness and delicacy of fibre, give me Harris. Messick had 
his good points — I will not attempt to deny it, nor do I 
wish to do it— but he was no more fitted for breakfast 
then a mummy would be, sir — not a bit. Lean ? — ^why, 
bless me ! — and tough ? Ah, he was very tough ! You 
could not imagine it, — ^you could never imagine an)rthing 
like it. 

" Do you mean to tell me that ^" 

Do not interrupt me, please. After breakfast we 
elected a man by the name of Walker, from Détroit, for 
supper. He was very good. I wrote his wife so after- 
wards. He was worthy of ail praise. I shall always 
remember Walker. He was a little rare, but very good. 
And then the next morning we had Morgan, of Alabama, 
for breakfast. He was one of the finest men I ever sat 
down to, — ^handsome, educated, refined, spoke several 
languages fluently — a perfect gentleman — he was a per- 
fect gentleman, and singularly juicy. For supper we had 
that Oregon patriarche and he was a fraud, there is no 



CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS. 333 

question about it — old, scraggy, tough, nobody can 
picture the reality. I finally said, gentlemen you can do 
as you like, but / will wait for another élection. And 
Grimes, of Illinois, said, " Gentlemen, / will wait also. 
When you elect a man that has something to recommend 
him, I shall be glad to join you again/' It soon became 
évident that there was gênerai dissatisfaction with Davis, 
of Oregon, and so, to préserve the good-will that had 
prevailed so pleasantiy since we had Harris, an élection 
was called, and the resuit of it was that Baker, of 
Georgia, was chosen. He was splendid ! Well, well — 
after that we had Doolittie and Hawkins, and McElroy 
(there was some complaint about McElroy, because he 
was uncommonly short and thin), and Penrod, and two 
Smiths, and Bailey (Bailçy had a wooden leg, which was 
clear loss, but he was otherwise good), and an Indian 
boy, and an organ grinder, and a gentleman by the name 
of Buckminster — a poor stick of a vagabond that wasn't 
any good for company and no account for breakfast We 
were glad we got him elected before relief came. 

" And so the blessed relief did come at last ? " 
. Yes, it came one bright, sunny morning, just after 
élection. John Murphy was the choice, and there never 
was a better, I am willing to testify ; but John Miuphy 
came home with us, in the train that came to succour us, 
and lived to marry the widow Harris 

" Relict of- — '' 

ReUct of our first choice. He married her, and is 
happy and respected and prosperous yet Ah, it was 
like a novel, sir — ^it was like a romance. This is my 
sytopping-place, sir ; I must bid you good-by. Any time 



334 MARK TIVAIN'S SKETCHES. 

that you can make it convenîent to tarry a day or two 
with me, I shall be glad to hâve you. I like you, sir ; I 
hâve conceived an affection for you. I could like you 
as well as I liked Harris himself, sir. Good day, sir, and 
a pleasant joumey.*' 

He was gone. I never felt so stunned, so distressed, 
50 bewildered in my life. But in my soûl I was glad he 
was gone. With ail his gentleness of manner and his 
soft voice, I shuddered whenever he tumed his hungiy 
eye upon me : and when I heard that I had achieved his 
perilous affection, and that I stood almost with the late 
Harris in his esteem, my heart fairly stood still ! 

I was bewildered beyond description. I did not 
doubt his word ; I could not question a single item in a 
statement so stamped with the eamestness of truth as 
his ; but its dreadful détails overpowered me, and threw 
my thoughts into hopeless confusion. I saw the con- 
ductor looking at me. I said, " Who is that man ? " 

" He was a member of Congress once, and a good 
one. But he got caught in a snowdrift in the cars, and 
like to been starved to death. He got so frost-bitten 
and frozen up generally, and used up for want of some- 
thing to eat, that he was sick and out of his head two or 
three months afterwards. He is ail right now, only he is 
a monomaniac, and when he gets on that old subject he 
never stops till he has eat up that whole car-load of 
people he talks about. He would hâve fînished the 
crowd by this time, only he had to get out hère. He 
has got their names as pat as A, B, C. When he gets 
them ail eat up but himself, he always says : — * Then the 
hour for the usual élection for breakfast having arrived, 



CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS, 335 

and there being no opposition, I was duly elected, after 
which, there being no objections offered, I resigned. 
Thus I am hère/ " 

I felt inexpressibly relieved to know that I had only 
been listening to the harmless vagaries of a madman 
instead of the genuine expériences of a bloodthirsty 
cannibal. 



CURING A COLD. 

It is a good thing, perhaps, to write for the amuse- 
ment of the public, but it is a far higher and nobler 
thing to Write for their instruction, their profit, their 
actual and tangible benefit. The latter is the sole object 
of this article. If it prove the means of restoring to 
health one solitary sufferer among my race, of lighting 
up once more the fire of hope and joy in his faded eyes, 
of bringing back to his dead heart again the quick, 
generous impulses of other days, I shall be amply re^ 
warded for my labour ; my soûl will be permeated with 
the sacred delight a Christian feels when he has done a 
good, unselfish deed. 

Having led a pure and blameless life, I am justified 
in believing that no man who knows me will reject the 
suggestions I am about to make, out of fear that I am 
trying to deceive him. Let the public do itself the 
honour to read my expérience in doctoring a cold, as 
herein set forth, and then follow in my footsteps. 

When the White House was bumed in Virginia, I lest 
my home, my happiness, my constitution, and my trunk. 
The loss of the two first-named articles was a matter of 
no great conséquence, since à home without a mother or 
a sister, or a distant young female relative in it, to remind 



CURING A COID. 337 

you, by putting your soiled linen out of sight and taking 
your boots down off the mantel-piece, that there are those 
who think about you and care for you, is easily obtained. 
And I cared nothing for the loss of my happiness, be- 
cause, not being a poet, it could not be possible that 
melancholy would abide with me long. 

But to lose a good constitution and a better trunk 
were serious misfortunes. 

On the dày of the fire my constitution succumbed to a 
severe cold caused by undue exertion in getting ready to 
do something. I suffered to no purpose, too, because 
the plan I was figuring at for the extinguishing of the fire 
was so elaborate that I never got it completed until the 
middle of the following week. 

The first time I began to sneeze, a friend told me to 
go and bathe my feet in hot water and go to bed. I did 
80. Shortly afterwards, another friend advised me to get 
up and take a cold shower-bath. I did that also. Within 
the hour, another friend assured me that it was policy to 
**feed a cold and starve a fever." I had both. So I 
thought it best to fill myself up for the cold, and then 
keep dark and let the fever starve awhile. 

In a case of this kind, I seldom do things by halves ; 
I ate pretty heartily; I conferred my custom upon a 
stranger who had just opened his restaurant that mom- 
ing ; he waited near me in respectful silence until I had 
finished feeding my cold, when he inquired if the people 
about Virginia were much afilicted with colds ? I told 
him I thought they were. 

He then went out and took in his sign. 

J started down tpward thç pfïice, and on the way 



338 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

encountered another bosom frîend, who told me that & 
quart of sait water, taken warm, would corne as neai 
curing a cold as anything in the world. I hardly thought 
I had room for it, but I tried it any how. The resuit 
was surprising. I believe I threw up my immortal 
soûl. 

Now, as I am giving my expérience only for the 
benefit of those who are troubled with the distemper I 
am writing about, I feel that they will see the propriety 
of my cautioning them against foUowing such portions of 
it as proved inefficient with me, and, acting upon this 
conviction, I wam them against warm sait water. It 
may be a good enough remedy, but I think it is too 
severe. If I had another cold in the head, and there 
was no course left me but to take either an earthquake 
or a quart of warm sait water, I, would take my chances 
on the earthquake. 

Àfter the storm which had been raging in my stomach 
had subsided, and no more good Samaritans happening 
along, I went on borrowing handkerchiefs again and 
blowing them to atoms, as had been my custom in the 
early stages of my cold, until I came across a lady who 
had just arrived from over the plains, and who said she 
had lived in a part of the country where doctors were 
scarce, and had from necessity acquired considérable 
skill in the treatment of simple " family complaints." I 
knew she must hâve had much expérience, for she ap- 
peared to be a hundred and fifty years old. 

She mixed a décoction composed of molasses, aqua- 
fortis, turpentine, and varions other drugs, and instructed 
me to take a wine-glass full of it every fifteen minutes. I 



CURING A COLD. 339 

never took but one dose; that was enough; it robbed 
me of ail moral principle, and awoke every unworthy 
impulse of my nature. Under its malign influence my 
brain conceived miracles of meanness, but my hands 
were too feeble to exécute them ; at that timé, had it 
not been that my strength had surrendered to a succes- 
sion of assaults from infallible remédies for my cold, 
I am satisfied that I would hâve tried to rob the grave- 
yard. 

Like most other people I often feel mean, and act 
accordingly; but until I took that medicine I had never 
revelled in such supematural depravity ahd felt proud of 
it. At the end of two days I was ready to go to doctor- 
ing again. I took a few more unfailing remédies, and 
finally drove my cold from my head to my lungs. 

I got to coughing incessantly, and my voice fell below 
zéro ; I conversed in a thundering base, two octaves 
below my natural tone ; I could only compass my regular 
nightly repose by coughing myself down to a state of 
utter exhaustion, and then the moment I began to talk 
in my sleep my discordant voice woke me up again. 

My case grew more and more serions every day. 
Plaih gin was recommendéd ; 1 took it. Then gin and 
molasses ; I took that also. Then gin and onions ; I 
added the onions, and took ail three. I detected «o 
particular resuit. 

I found I had to travel for my health. I went to 
Lake Tahoe with my reportorial comrade, Wilson. I 
is gratifying to me to reflect that we travelled in con- 
sidérable style ; we went in the Pioneer coach, and my 
fiiend took âll his baggagewitb him, consisting of two 



340. xMARK TVVAIN'S SKETCIIES. 

excellent silk. handkerchiefs and a daguerrotype of his 
grandmother. We sailed, and hunted, and fished, and 
danced ail day, and I doctored my cough ail night By 
managing in this way, I made out tp improve every hour 
in the twenty-four. But my disease continued to grow 
worse. • .. - 

A sheet-bath was recommended. I had never refused 
a remedy yet, and it seemed poor policy to conunenco 
then; therefore I determined to take a sheet-bath, not* 
withstanding I had no idea what sort of arrangement it 
was. 

It was admiilistered at midnight, and the weather wa& 
veiy frosty. My breast and back were bared, and a 
sheet (there appeared to be a thousand yards of \i\ 
soaked in ice-water was wound around me until I re- 
sembled a swab for a Columbiad. 

It is a cruel expédient When the chilly rag touches 
one's warm flesh it makes him start with sudden violence-f 
and gasp for breath, just as men do in the death agony., 
It froze. the marrow in my bones and stopped the beating^ 
of my heart I thought my time had come. 

Never take a sheet-bath — never. Next to meeting a 
lady acquaintance, who, for reasons best known to hersel^ 
don't see you when she looks at you, and don't know 
you when she does see you, it is the most uncomfortable 
thing in the world. 

But, as I was saying when the sheet-bath failed to 
cure my cough, a lady friend recommended the applica- 
tion of a mustard plaster to my breast I believe that 
would hâve cured me effectually, if it had not been for 
young Wilsoa. When I went to bed ï put my mustard 



CURING A COLD. .341 

plaster — whîch was a very gorgeous one, eighteen inches 
square — ^where I could reach it when I was ready for it. 
But young Wilson got hungry in the night, and 

After sojouming a week at Lake Tahoe, I went to 
Steamboat Springs, and beside the steam baths, I took a 
cargo of the wickedest meàicines that were ever con- 
cocted. They would hâve cured me, but I had to go 
back to Virginia, where, notwithstanding the variety of 
new remédies I absorbed every day, I managed to aggra- 
vate my disease by carelessness and undue exposure. 

I finally concluded to visit San Francisco, and the 
first day I got there, a lady at the Lick House told me 
to drink a quart of whiskey every twenty-four hours, and 
a friend at the Occidental recommended precisely the 
same course. Each advised me to take a quart ; that 
made half a gallon. I did it, and still live. 

Now, with the kindest motives în the world, I ofïer for 
the considération of consumptive patients the variégated 
course of treatment I hâve lately gone through. Let 
thëm try i^; if it don*t cure, it can't more than kill 
them. 



REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER'S FARM. 

Mr. B.'s farm consists of thirty-six acres, and is carried 
on on strict scientific principles. He never puts in any 
part of a crop without consulting his book. He ploughs 
and reaps and digs and sows accordingto the bestautho- 
rities — and the authorities cost more than the other farm- 
ing implements do. As soon as the library is complète, 
the farm will begin to be a profitable investment. But 
book farming has its drawbacks. Upon one occasion, 
when it seemed morally certain that the hay ought to be 
eut, the hay book could not be foimd, and before it was 
found it was too late, and the hay was ail spoiled. Mr. 
Beecher raises some of the finest crops of wheat in the 
country, but the unfavourable différence between the 
cost of producing it and its market value after it is pro- 
duced has interfered considerably with its success as a 
commercial enterprise. His spécial weakness is hogs, 
however. He considers hogs the best game a farm pro- 
duces. He buys the original pig for a dollar and a half, 
and feeds him forty dollars' worth of corn, and then sells 
him for about nine dollars. This is the only crop he 
ever makes any money on. He loses on the com, but 
he makes seven dollars and a half on the hog. He does 



REV. HENRY WARD BEECHERS FARM. 343 

not mind this, because he never expects to make any- 
thing on corn, anyway. And any way it tums out, he 
has the excitement of raising the hog any how, whether 
he gets the worth of him or not His strawberries would 
be a comfortable success if the robms would eat tumips, 
but they won't, and hence the difficulty. 

One of Mr. Beecher's most harassmg difïiculties in his 
farming opérations cornes of the close resemblance of 
différent sorts of seeds and plants to each other. Two 
years ago his far-sightedness wamed him that there was 
going to be a great scarcity of water melons, and there- 
fore he put in a crop of seven acres of that fruit But 
when they came up they tumed out to be pumpkins, and 
a dead loss was the conséquence. Sometimes a portion 
of his crop goes into the ground the most promising sweet 
potatoes, and comes up the most exécrable carrots. 
When he bought his farm he found one t!gg in every hen's 
nest on the place. He said that hère was just the reason 
why so many farmers failed — they scattered their forces 
too much — concentration was the idea. So he gathered 
those eggs together, and put them ail under one expe- 
rienced hen. That hen roosted over the contract night 
and day for many weeks, under Mr. Beecher^s personal 
supervision, but she could not "phase" those eggs. 
Why? Because they were those shameful porcelain 
things which are used by modem farmers as ^*nest 
eggs." 

Mr. Beecher*s farm is not a triumph. It would be 
easier if he worked it on shares with some one ; but he 
cannot find any body who is willing to stand half the 
expense, and not many that are able. Still, persistence 



344 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

in any cause is bound to succeed. He was a very in- 
ferior farmer, when he fîrst began, but a prolonged and 
unflinching assault upon his agrîcultural difficulties bas 
had its effect at last, and he is now fast rising from afflu- 
ence to poverty. 



RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. 

A FEW months ago I was nominated for Goveraor of 
the great State of New York, to run against Stewart L. 
Woodford and John T. Hoffinan on an independent 
ticket. I somehow felt that I had one prominent ad- 
vantage over thèse gentlemen, and that was — good 
character. It was easy to see by the newspapers that, if 
ever they had known what it was to bear a good name, 
that time had gone by. It was plain that in thèse latler 
years they had become familiar with ail manner of 
shameful crimes. But at the very moment that I was 
exalting my advantage and joying in it in secret there 
was a muddy undercurrent of discomfort "riling" the 
deeps of my happiness, and that was — the having to hear 
my name bandied about in familiar connection with those 
of such people. I grew more and more disturbed. 
Finally I wrote my grandmother about it. Her answer 
came quick and sharp. She said — 

" You hâve never donc one single thing in ail your 
life to be ashamed of— not one. Look at the news- 
papers — ^look at them and comprehend what sort of 
characters Woodford and Hoffman are, and then see if 
you are*willing to lower yourself to their level and enter 
a public canvass with them." 



346 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

It was my very thought ! I did not sleep a single 
moment that night But after ail I could not recède. I 
was fuUy committed, and must go on with the fight. As 
I was looking listlessly over the papers at breakfast I 
came across this paragraph, and I may truly say I never 
was so confounded before : — 

" Perjury. — Perhaps, now that Mr. Mark Twain is 
before the people as a candidate for Govemor, he will 
condescend to explain how he came to be convicted of 
perjury by thirty-four witnesses in Wakawak, Cochin 
China, in 1863, the intent of which perjury was to rob a 
poor native widow and her helpless family of a meagre 
plaintain-patch, their only stay and support in thebr 
bereavement and désolation. Mr. Twain owes it to him- 
self, as well as to the great people whose suflBrages he 
asks, to clear this matter up. Will he do it ? " 

I thought I should burst with amazement I Such a 
cruel heartless charge. I never had seen Cochin China ! 
I never had heard of Wakawak ! I didn't know a plain- 
tain-patch from a kangaroo ! I did not know what to 
do. I was crazed and helpless. I let the day slip, away 
without doing anything at ail. The next moming the 
same paper had this — nothing more : — 

" SiGNiFiCANT. — Mr. Twain, it will be observed, is 
suggestively silent about the Cochin China perjury." 

[Mem, — During the rest of the campaign this paper 
never referred to me in any other way than as " the in- 
famous perjurer Twain."] 

Next came the " Gazette," with this :— 

"Wanted to Know. — ^Will the new candidate for 
Grovemor deign to e^\a\ii\.o c^iUm of his fellowKdtizens 



RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. 347 

(who are suflfering to vote for him 1) the little circumstance 
of his cabin-mates in Montana losing small valuables 
from time to time, until at last, thèse things having been 
invariably found on Mr. Twain's person or in his " trunk " 
(newspaper he roUed his traps in), they felt compelled to 
give him a friendly admonition for his own good, and so 
tarred and feathered him and rode him on a rail, and then 
advised him to leave a permanent vacuum in the place 
he usually occupied in the camp. Will he do this ? " 

Could anything be more deUberately malicious than 
that ? For I never was in Montana in my life. 

[After this, this journal customarily spoke of me as 
" Twain, the Montana Thief ''] 

I got to picking up papers apprehensively — much as 
one would lift a desired blanket which he had some idea 
might hâve a rattlesnake under it. One day this met my 
eye : — 

"The Lie NailedI — By the swom affidavits of 
Michael OTlanagan, Esq., of the Five Points, and Mr. 
Kit Bums and Mr. John Allen, of Water Street, it is 
established that Mr. Mark Twain's vile statement that 
the lamented grandfather of our noble standard-bearer, 
John T. Hoflfman, was hanged for highway robbery, is a 
brutal and gratuitous lie, without a single shadow of 
foundation in fact. It is disheartening to virtuous men 
to see such shameful means resorted to to achieve poli- 
tical success as the attacking of the dead in their graves, 
and defiling their honoured names with slander. When 
we think of the anguish tKis misérable falsehood must 
cause the innocent relatives and friends of the deceased, 
we are almost driven to incite an outraged and msMll<^^ 



348 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

public to summary and unlawful vengeance upon the 
traducer. But no : let us leave Kim to the agony of a 
lacerated conscience (though if passion should get the 
better of the public and in its blind fury they should do 
the traducer bodily injuiy, it is but too obvious that no 
jury could convict and no court punish the perpetrators 
ofthedeed)." 

The ingenious closing sentence had the effect of moving 
me out of bed with despatch that nîght, and out at the 
back door also, while the " outraged and insulted public ** 
surged in the front way, breaking furniture and Windows 
in their righteous indignation as they came, and taking 
off such property as they could carry when they went. 
And yet I can lay my hand upon the Book and say that 
I never slandered Govemor Hoffman's grandfather. 
More : I had never even heard of him or mentioned him 
up to that day and date. 

[I will State, in passing, that the journal above c][uoted 
from always referred to me afterward as "Twain the 
Body-Snatcher.''] 

The next newspaper article that attracted my attention 
was the foUowing : — 

"A SwEET Candidate. — Mark Twain, who was to 
make such a blighting speech at the mass meeting of the 
Independents last night, didn't come to time ! A tele- 
gram from his physician stated that he had been knocked 
down by a runaway team and his leg broken in two places 
— sufiferer lying in great agony, and so forth, and so forth, 
and a lot more bosh of the same sort And the Indepçn- 
dents tried hard to swaWow lYve \rcex.Ocveà ^\s!û\.«&l^^^ 
prétend that they did not kxvovf ^\\^x ^^'^ ^^ ^^^^ t^^'s.^xv 



RUNi\ING FOR GOVERNOR, 349 

of the absence of the abandoned créature whom they 
(îenominate their standard-bcarer. A certain man was 
seen to réel into Mr. Twaiiis hôtel last night in a state of 
beastly intoxication. It is thp imperative duty of the 
Independents to. prove that this besotted brute was not 
Mark Twain himself. We hâve them at last ! This is a 
case that admits of no shirking. The voice of the people 
demands in thunder-tones, " Who was that man ? " 

It was incredible, absolutely incredible, for a moment, 
that it was really my name that was coupled widi this 
disgraceful suspicion. Three long years had passed over 
my head since I had tasted aie, béer, wine, or liquor of 
any kind. 

[It shows what efifect the times were having on me 
when. I say that I saw myself confidently dubbed " Mr. 
Delirium Tremens Twain" in the next issue of that 
journal without a pang, — notwithstanding I knew that 
with monotonous fidelity the paper would go on calling 
me so to the very end.] 

By this time anonymous letters were getting to be an 
important part of my mail matter. This form was com- 
mon — 

" How about that old woman you kiked of your pre- 
mises which was beging. 

"PoL Pry." 

And this — 

" There is things which you hâve done which is unbe- 
knowens to anybody but me. You better trot out a few 
doUs to yours truly, or you'll hear thro* the papers 
from 



350 MARK TIVAIN'S SKETCHES. 

That is about the idea. I could continue them tîll 
the reader was surfeited, if désirable. 

Shortly the principal Republican journal " convicted " 
me of Wholesale bribery, and the leading Démocratie 
paper " nailed " an aggravated case of blackmailing to 
me. 

[In this way I acquired two additional names : " Twain 
the Filthy Corruptionist," and "Twain the Loathsome 
Embracer."] 

By diis time there had grown to be such a clameur for 
an " answer" to ail the dreadful charges that were laid 
to me that the editors and leaders of my party said it 
would be political ruin for me to remain silent any 
longer. As if to make their appeal the more imperative, 
the following appeared in one of the papers the» very 
next day : — 

" Behold THE Man ! — The independent candidate 
still maintains silence. Because he dare not speak. 
Every accusation against him has been amply proved, 
and they liave been endorsed and re-endorsed by his 
own éloquent silence till at this day he stands for ever 
convicted. Look upon your candidate, Independents ! 
Look upon the Infamous Perjurer! the Montana 'fhief! 
the Body-snatcher ! Contemplate your Incarnate De- 
lirium Tremens ! your Filthy Corruptionist ! your Loath- 
some Embracer! Gaze upon him— ponder him well — 
and then say if you can give your honest votes to a 
créature who has eamed this dismal array of titles by his 
hideous crimes, and dares not open his mouth in déniai 
ofsxiy one of them \ " 
Thert was no possible v^acy oi ^^Xîca^% ^>a^. ^^^'^^^ ^xv^^^^ 



RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. 351 

in deep humiliation, I set about preparing to "answer'* 
a mass of baseless charges and mean and wicked false- 
hoods. But I never finished the task, for the very next 
moming a paper came out with a new horror, a fresh 
malignity, and seriously charged me with buming a 
lunatic asylum with àll its inmates bécause it obstructed 
the view from my house. This threw me into a sort of 
panic. Then came the charge of poisoning my uncle to 
get his property, with an imperative demand that the 
grave should be opened. This drove me to the verge of 
distraction. On top of this I was accused of employing 
toothless and incompétent old relatives to prépare the 
food for the foundling hospital when I was warden. I 
was wavering — ^wavering. And at last, as a due and 
fitting climax to the shameless persécution that party 
rancour had inflicted upon me, nine little toddling 
children of ail shades of colour and degrees of ragged- 
ness were tatight to rush on to the platform at a public 
meeting and clasp me around the legs and call me Pa ! 

I gave up. I hauled down my colours and surren- 
dered. I was not equal to the requirements of a Guber- 
natorial campaign in the State of New York, and so I 
sent in my withdrawal from the candidacy, and in bitter- 
riess of spirit signed it, 

" Truly yours, 

" Once a décent man, but now 
"Mark Twain, I. P., M. T., B. S., D. T., F. C, 
«and L. E." 



LITERATURE IN THE DRY DIGGINGS. 

Although a résident of San Francisco, I never heard 
much about the " Art Union Association " of that city 
until I got hold of some old newspapers during my three 
months* stay in the Big Tree région of Calaveras county, 
Up there, you know, they read everything^ because in 
most of those little camps they hâve no libraries, and no 
books to speak of, except.now and then a patent office 
report or a prayer-book, or literature oî that kind, in a 
gênerai way, that will hang on and last a good while 
when people are careful with it, like miners ; but as for 
novels, they pass them around and wear them out in a 
week or two. Now there was Coon, a nice, bald-headed 
man, at the hôtel in AngeFs Camp, I asked him to lend 
me a book, one rainy day; he was silent a moment, and 
a shade of melancholy flitted across his fine feice, and 
then he said : " Well, IVe got a mighty responsible old 
Webster Unabridged, what there is left of it, but they 
started her sloshing around and sloshing around and 
sloshing around the camp before ever I got a chance to 
read her myself ; and next she went to Murph/s and 
from there she went to Jackass Gulch, and now she's 
gone to San Andréas, and I don*t expect 1*11 ever see 
that hook again. But "Whal mak^^ m^ \sNao. \%^iicûX Vsv 



LIIERATURE IN THE DRY DIGGINGS. 353 

ail the/re so handy about keeping her sashshaying 
around from shanty to shanty and from camp to camp, 
none of em*s ever got a good word for her. Now Cod- 
dington had her a week, and she was too many for hi?ri 
— ^he couldn*t spell the words ; he tackled some of them 
regular busters, tow'rd the mîddle, you know, and they 
throwed him; next, Dyer, he tried her a jolt, but he 
couldn't pronounce 'em — Dyer can hunt quail or play 
seven-up as well as any man, understand, but he can't 
pronounce worth a cuss; he used to worry along well 
well enough, though, till he*d flush one of them rattlers 
with a clatter of syllables as long as a string of sluice- 
boxes, and then he'd loose his grip and throw up his 
hand; and so, finally, Dick Stoker hamessed her, up 
there at his cabin, and sweated over her and cussed over 
her and rastled with her for as much as three weeks, 
night and day, till he got as far as R, and then passed 
her over to 'Liège Pickerell, and said she was the all- 
firedst, dryest reading that ever he struck. Well, well, 
if she's come back from San Andréas, you can get her, 
and prospect her, but I don't reckon there*s a good deal 
left of her by this time, though time was when she was 
as likely a book as any in the State, and as hefly, and 
had an amount of gênerai information in her that was 
astonishing, if any of thèse cattle had known enough to 
get it out of her." And ex-corporal Coon proceeded 
cheerlessly to scout with his brush after the straggling 
hairs on the rear of his head and drum them to the 
front for inspection and roll-call, as was his usual custom 
before tuming in for his regular aftemoon tia.^. 



A MYSTERIOUS VISIT. 

The first notice that was taken of me when I '* settled 
down," recently, was by a gentleman who said he was an 
assessor, and connected with the U. S. Internai Revenue 
Department. I said I had never heard of his branch of 
business before, but I was very glad to see him, ail the 
same, — ^would he sit down ? He sat down. I did not 
know anything particular to say, and yet I felt that 
people who hâve arrived at the dignity of keeping house 
must be conversational, must be easy and sociable in 
Company. So in default of anything else to say, I asked 
him if he was opening his shop in our neighbourhood. 

He said he was. [I did not wish to appear ignorant, 
but I had hoped he would mention what he had for 
sale.] 

I ventured to ask him " how was trade ? " and he said 
« So-so." 

I then said we would drop in, and if we liked hîs 
house as well as any other, we would give him our 
custom. 

He said he thought we would like hîs establishment 
well enough to confine ourselves to it — said he never 
saw anybody who would go off and hunt up another man 
in his Une after trading mûv\\\m oi\c:^. 

That sounded pretty comç\aee.Ti\., Xswx. \i^rà\s.% -^^x. 



A MYSTERIOUS VISIT. 355 

# 

natural expression of villainy which we ail hâve, the man 
Iboked honest enough. 

I do not know how it came about exactly, but gra- 
dually we appeared to melt down and run together, 
conversationally speaking, and then everything went 
along as comfortably as clockwork. 

We talked, and talked, and talked — at least I did. 
And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed — at least he 
did. But ail the time I had my présence of mind about 
me — I had my native shrewdness turned on " full head," 
as the engineers say. I was determined to find out ail 
about his business, in spite of his obscure answers— and 
I was determined I would hâve it out of him without 
his suspecting what I was at. I meant to trap him with 
a deep, deep ruse. I would tell him ail about my own 
business, and he would naturally so warm to me during 
this seductive burst of confidence that he would forget 
himself and tell me ail about his afFairs before he sus- 
pected what I was about. I thought to myself, My son, 
you little know what an old fox you are dealing with. I 
said : — 

" Now you never would guess what I made lecturing 
this winter and last spring ? " 

" No — don't belle ve I could, to save me. Let me see 
— let me see. About two thousand dollars maybe ? But 
no — no, sir, I know you couldn't hâve made that much, 
Say seventeen hundred, maybe?" 

" Ha-ha ! I knew you couldn*t. My lecturing re- 
ceipts for last spring and this winter were fourteen thou- 
sand seven hundred and fifty dollars — ^^\va.\.^<^^^s<i^'^ssxs^ 

OÎth3it?'' 



356 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

" Why it is amazing — perfectly amazing. I will make 
a note of it. And you say even this wasn't ail ?" 

" Ail ? Why bless you there was my income firom the 
Bii^cUo Express for four months — about — about — well, 
what should you say to about eîght thousand dollars, for 
instance ? " 

" Say ! Why I should say I should like to see myself 
rolling in just ^uch another océan of affluence. Eight 
thousand ! l'il make a note of it. Why, man !— and on 
top of ail this, I am to understand that you had still 
more income?" 

" Ha-ha-ha ! Why you*re flnly in the suburbs of it, so 
to speak. There's my book, * The Innocents Abroad ' 
— price $3.50 to $5.00, according to the binding. Listen 
to me. Look me in the eye. Durin^ the last four 
months and a half, saying nothing of sales before that, 
but just simply during the four months and a half, weVe 
sold ninety-five thousand copies of that book ! Ninety- 
five thousand ! Think of it. Average four dollars a 
copy, say. It*s nearly four hundred thousand dollars, my 
son. I get half ! " 

" The sufifering Moses ! l'il set that down. Fourteen- 
seven-fifty — eight — two hundred. Total, say — well, upon 
my Word, the grand total is about two hundred and 
thirteen or fourteen thousand dollars. Is that pos- 
sible ? *' 

" Possible ! If there's any mistake it's the other way. 
Two hundred and fourteen thousand, cash, is my încome 
for this year, if /know how to cipher." 

Then the gentleman got up \.o çp. W. caxx\^ w^t me 
most uncomfortably that Iaa7\>el\v^.^m^à^m^ x^n^^^^t.^ 



A MYSTERIOUS VISIT. 357 

for nothing, besides being flattered into stretching them 
considerably by the stranger's astonished exclamations. 
But no j at the last moment the gentleman handed me a 
large envelope and said it contained his advertisement ; 
and that I would find out ail about his business in it ; 
and that he would be happy to hâve my custom — would, 
in fact, htproud to hâve the custom of a man of such 
prodigious income j and that he used to think there were 
several wealthy men in the city, but when they came to 
trade with him, he discovered that they barely had 
enough to live on ; and that, in truth, ît had been such a 
weary, weaiy âge since he had seen a rich man face to • 
face, and talked with him, and touched him with his 
hands, that he could hardly refrain from embracing me — 
in fact, would esteem it a great favoiu: if I would let him 
embrace me. 

This so pleased me, that I did not try to resist, but 
allowed this simple-hearted stranger to throw his arms 
about me and weep a few tranquilHzing tears down the 
back of my neck. Then he went his way. 

As soon as he was gone, I opened his advertisement 
I studied it attentively for four minutes, I then called 
up the cook and said : — 

" Hold me while I faint. Let Maria tum the griddlé- 
cakes." 

By-and-by, when I came to, I sent down to the rum 
mill on the corner and hired an artist by the week to sit 
up nights and curse that stranger, and give me a Uft 
occasionally in the day timè when I came to a hard 
place. 

Ah, what a miscreant he was \ 'Kvâ ''*' ^.^-^^-tfvx^^^sNK^' 



358 MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES. 

was nothing in the world but a wîcked tax-retum — a 
string of impertinent questions about my private affairs 
occupying the best part of four foolscap pages of fine 
print — questions, I may remark, gotten up with such 
marvellous ingenuity that the oldest man in the world 
couldn't understand what the most of them were driving 
at — questions, too, that were calculated to make a man 
report about four times his actual income to keep frotn 
swearing to a falsehood. I looked for a loop-hole, but 
there did not appear to be any. Inquiry No. i covered 
my case, as generously and as amply as an umbrella 
could cover an ant-hill : 

"What were your profits, during the past year, from any trade, 
business or vocation, wherever carried on ? " 

And that inquiry was backed up by thhrteen others of 
an equally searching nature, the most modest of which 
required information as to whether I had committed any 
burglary, or highway robbery, or by any arson or other 
secret source of émolument, had acquired property which 
was not enumerated in my statement of income as set 
opposite to inquiry No. i. 

It was plain that that stranger had enabled me to 
make a goose of myself. It was very, very plain, and so 
I went out and hired another artist. By working on my 
vanity the stranger had seduced me into declaring an 
income of 214,060 dollars. By law, 1000 dollars of this 
was exempt from income-tax — the only relief I could 
see, and it was only a drop in the océan. At the légal 
ûve par cent, I must pay onçx to >iîcv^ ^os^TKassî^ ^^ 



A MYSTERIOUS VISIT, 359 

appalling sum of ten thousand six hundred and fifty 
dollars, income-tax 

[I may remark, in this place, that I did not do it] 
I am acquainted with a very opulent man, whose 
house is a palace, whose table is régal, whose outlays are 
enormous, yet a man who has no income, as I hâve often 
noticed by the revenue retums ; and to him I went for 
advice, in my distress. He took my dreadful exhibition 
of receipts, he put on his glasses, he took his pen, and 
presto ! — I was a pauper ! It was the neatest thing that 
ever was. He did it simply by defdy manipulating the 
bill of " Déductions." He set down my " State, na- 
tional, and municipal taxes " at so much , my " losses by 
shipwreck, fire, &c.," at so much; my "losses on sales 
of real estate" — on "live stock sold" — on "payments 
for rent of homestead " — on " repairs, improvements, in- 
terest " — on " previously taxed salary as an officer of the 
United States' army, navy, revenue service," and other 
things. He got astonishing "déductions" out of each 
and every one of thèse matters — each and every one of 
them. And when he was done he handed me the paper 
and I saw at a glance that during the year my income, in 
the way of profits, had been one thousand two hundred 
and fifty dollars andforty cents, 

" Now," saidhe, "the thousand dollars is exempt by 
law. What you want to do is to go and swear this docu- 
ment in and pay tax on the two hundred and fifty 
dollars." 

[While he was making this speech his little boy Willie 
lifted a two dollar green-back out ol \C\^ n^'sX ^o^Ot.sX'îcc^^ 
vanished with it, and I woiAd vïagî^t ^Ti>fOcCvù%^^^ '^^^ 



300 MARK TWAIirS SKETCHES. 

stranger were to call on that lîttle boy to-morrow he 
would make a false retum of his income.] 

"Do you," said I, "do you always work up the 
* déductions ' after this fashion in your own case, sir ? "' 

" Well, I should say so ! If it weren't for those eleven 
saving clauses under the head of * Déduction ' I should 
be beggared every year to support this hateflil and 
wicked, this extortionate and tyrannical govemment" 

This gentleman stands away up among the very best 
of the solid men of the city — the men of moral weight, 
of commercial integrity, of unimpeachable social spot- 
lessness — and so I bowed to his example. I went do¥m 
to the revenue office, and under the accusing eyes of my 
old visitor I stood up and swore to lie after lie, fraud 
after fraud, villainy after villainy, till my soûl was coated 
inches and inches thick with peijury and my self-respect 
gone for ever and ever. 

But what of it ? It is nothing more than thousands of 
the highest, and richest, and proudest, and most re- 
spected, honoiured, and courted men in America do 
every year. And so I don't care. I am not ashamed, I 
shall simply, for the présent, talk little and eschew fire- 
proof gloves, lest I fall into certain dreadful habits 
irrevocably. 



THE END. 



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